No official report of child labour- Labour Minister

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No official report of child labour has reached the Labour Ministry, according to the Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton.

As part of the Labour Ministry’s national plan to tackle child labour in the country, it now has labour offices in most regions.

The Labour Minister told the News Room that his ministry has multiple ways to increase the availability of officers to receive reports but no reports have been received since last year.

It is unclear whether this means the reports aren’t being made or child labour situations are decreasing.

Hamilton said that officers are spreading awareness of how child labour occurs and what scenarios look like.

“We now have officers in every region except region eight.”

“We have labour officers going into regions and doing training and interactions with schools and businesses,” he said.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton (Photo: DPI/March 11. 2022)

On many occasions the minister spoke about the importance of having labour officers in every region. The most recently commissioned office was in Region Ten. During this opening, it was revealed that the overall number of labour officers jumped from 16 to 26 since 2020.

The Labour Ministry, Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport are collaborating to provide a government response to the issue.

The collaborative approach is that once children are removed from the situation, they are steered into some area of learning skills.

Touching on skills training, Hamilton said it is their hope that Community Service Officers (CSO) can be trained by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training.

Some 400 CSOs were trained last year in tractor driving, solar panel installation and Information Technology.

Now, he said, “We are working on a memorandum of agreement where BIT would have to be involved in training – I think about three or four different set of people in ICT, computer repairs management of hubs and so on.”

The training will benefit the communities because it enables persons to respond to problems there rather than waiting for persons outside of the community to arrive.

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