ILO Senior Specialist on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, Sophie De Coninck
MOL, ILO Train Enforcement Actors On Child Labour
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, April 4 (LINA) – The Ministry of Labour (MoL) in concert with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Tuesday began a four-day training workshop for Labour Inspectors and enforcement agencies.
At the opening ceremony, Deputy Labour Minister for Administration, Augustine W. Williams, acknowledged that government has made serious progress in eradicating child labor in the formal sector but has much to do in the informal sector.
“In the informal sector it is difficult, if not impossible, to regulate the activities of children in the communities,” he pointed out.
Minister Williams observed that the level of challenges posed by the community and interior factors, and challenged the participants to take the training seriously as they are the flag bearers of the ministry.
He urged them to after the training go all out and work towards the elimination of child labour in Liberia.
According to him, children issues have over the period taken center stage to the point that government included provisions in Chapters two and eight of the new Decent Work law which specifically focuses on children in work places.
In the informal sector, he named the riding of motorcycle, children escorting their blind parents, selling in the streets and the participation of children in certain works at home as some examples of child labour..
In remarks, the ILO Senior Specialist on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, Sophie De Coninck called for the intensification of efforts to eliminate child labour at work places across the country.
Madam De Coninck described the attainment of a child labour-free society as an ambitious target to which efforts and actions must be accelerated.
“The purpose of this training workshop for labour inspectors and other enforcement agencies is to assist the Liberian labour inspectors in tackling child labour by strengthening their skills to monitor child labour in the formal and informal sectors,” she indicated.
The ILO Specialist revealed that West Africa has one of the world’s highest proportions of children in child labour where one child out of four aged five to 14 is in child labour, noting that this can be eliminated.
She indicated that the latest estimates show that child labour is declining, but at a slow pace.
Madam De Conick then lauded the Government of Liberia for the recent technical validation of the National Action Plan to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in Liberia, describing it as a timely intervention meant for advocating the national agenda in the fight to eliminate child labour.
It can be recalled that world leaders in September 2015 adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda which calls for all to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and to secure the prohibition and elimination of all forms of child labour by 2025.
Participants of the workshop included labour inspectors and commissioners from across the country as well as some enforcement officers of the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.