Fiji’s Labour Minister Child Labour Unit in conjunction with officials from the Ministry of Education has begun child labour awareness programmes for schools nationwide.
Targeting teachers and members of different communities in the country, the team conducted its first awareness programme for the third quarter in the Northern Division and covered a total of 47 primary and secondary schools including schools located in remote areas.
Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment, Mr Usamate explained that the program is designed to raise awareness to ensure that children are not exploited to hard labour during school hours.
“This is to ensure that children have access to proper education which leads to better welfare in their near future and at the same time it alleviates poverty,” Usamate said in a statement.
“The heads of schools have also been trained on monitoring and addressing child labour issues in schools and following proper reporting procedures in terms of reporting child labour cases.”
He said that the Ministry has also extended awareness on child labour laws to the Fiji Principals Association Conference in Lautoka and also to the Fiji Head Teachers Association in Savusavu.
The Minister highlighted that government is committed to making Fiji a knowledge–based society as required under Pillar 8 as well as the reduction of poverty to a negligible level under Pillar 9 of the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress (PCCCP).
A total of 192 teachers have been trained so far.