Teachers fight child labour

A workshop aimed at highlighting the role of teachers in the tackling child labour in Fiji

News | 20 May 2013
A WORKSHOP aimed at highlighting the role of teachers in battling child labour  hosted by the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) and Education International (EI), involved the Fiji Teachers Union and the Fijian Teachers Association.

Speaking at the event, Marie Fatiaki from ILO's Tackling Child Labour through Education (TACKLE) program, said child labour was an issue that must be addressed.

"In the most recent global report on child labour that was released in 2010, the number of child labourers in the world had decreased from the previous report, which was released in 2006, from 218 million to 215 million," Mrs Fatiaki said.

She explained that although people tended to use the words "child labour" very loosely, it had a very specific definition.

"It's work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous or harmful to children and also work that interferes with children's schooling.

"Either it deprives them of the opportunity to attend school, which means they are in full-time employment and are unable to go to school because of it, or they have to go to work and go to school at the same time and it ends up having a negative impact on their schooling."

Mrs Fatiaki clarified that a "child" was someone who was under the age of 18 years.

At present in Fiji, the minimum age for work is 15 years.

By Dawn Gibson
Fiji Times 08.05.2013