Six provinces in PNG received training on Child Labour

A road show to generate interest and create awareness on the impacts of child labour in PNG

News | 20 May 2013
A nation-wide road show was organized  to help educate people on child labour issues in Papua New Guinea.
The PNG - Labour and Industrial Relations Department co-ordinated the road show on behalf of the International Labour Organisation.

ILO national coordinator Richard Samuel said that the aim was to generate interest and create awareness on the impact of child labour. He said  “The department conducted a major event that concerns all aspects of child labour.” Samuel said law enforcement agencies, non-government organisations, schools and industries all took part in the road-show. “After gauging people’s views, there will be a national child labour forum where representatives from each region will present their reports,” he said.

Samuel said they were planning on having the ILO regional director as part of the forum. “We are intending to establish a child labour unit within the department so any queries about child labour can go there,” he said about an official guideline to safeguard children.

Samuel also advised labour inspectors to be aware of child labour issues when conducting their inspections. He said in 2011, labour inspectors established a child-labour form which they carried during their inspections of workplaces. He said there were plans to establish a national child labour hazardous work list that would indicate places
where children were not supposed to work.

The road-show which ran in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province, through to Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Lae, Morobe Province, Madang, Madang Province, Kimbe, West New Britain Province and Kokopo, East New Britain Province uncovered a number of common issues;

1. Child Labour is a growing problem, which must be addressed now rather than later, as its impact can negatively reflect the future of the country in the next 20 – 40 years;
2. National legislations dealing with child related issues are inconsistent in application (particularly on the minimum age for employment);
3. The enforcement of these legislations are weak, which gives rise to abuse by perpetrators;
4. Clear pathways should be created by the Government, to ensure that these issues of child labour are heard and discussed at the highest level of Government’s decision making process;
5. For such programmes to be rolled out; there is a need for the Government’s continued support, after the donor ends its project funding – sustainability approaches should be established;
6. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a growing problem right across the country;
7. The Informal Sector Economy is seen as one of the main hubs for child labour as it is unregulated and hampers compliance and monitoring;
8. Lack of acceptance and ownership of the issue of child labour is seen as another reason for the growing problem of child labour;
9. Lack of Government support to NGOs/CSOs/FBOs, who remain champions in the fight to address child related issues; and
10. Agricultural work is also seen as another hub for child labour.