Posted: Monday, November 29, 2021. 7:51 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The first draft of the National Child Labour Policy and Strategy was discussed in an online workshop held on Friday, November 26, by the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government, the National Child Labour Committee (NCLC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The introductory session of the workshop began with an overview of Belize’s child labour findings in the form of a situation analysis and draft action matrix, according to a statement by the Government of Belize Press Office. Next, the participants, reviewed and gave their own recommendations on the policy’s timeframe, outcomes, contents, format, and targets.
A second and final workshop is to be held in January 2022 after which the National Child Labour Policy is expected to be implemented in February 2022.
According to the Press Office statement, the National Child Labour Policy and Strategy will serve to prevent the worst forms of child labour, withdraw and rehabilitate victims of child labour, and reintegrate former child labourers into school or non-hazardous work.
The workshop participants included key stakeholders such as the tripartite partners of the National Child Labour Committee (comprising representatives from the Government, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Citrus Growers Association, Blue Creek Mennonite Community, the Department of Youth Services, and Fairtrade International.
The Labour Department expressed appreciation to all the workshop participants. The Department said it “looks forward to their invaluable contributions in the future as the work continues in ensuring the protection of vulnerable children in Belize”.
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