Child Labourers exposed to harmful environments

Highlighting the role of teachers in the tackling child labour in Fiji

News | 20 May 2013
A NUMBER of child labourers are exposed to harmful environments and subsequently compromise their health.

These sentiments and more were heard at the Child Labour Forum at the FTU Hall in Suva. The three-day workshop aimed at highlighting the role teachers played in steering children away from becoming child labourers.

Presenter Marie Fatiaki from the ILO said putting children in such situations heightened their chances of making life more difficult for them in the long run.

"It exposes children to poisonous toxins, hazardous working environments and compromises their health given their ages," Mrs Fatiaki said. She explained that globally and locally, trends showed evidence of a number of youngsters getting into the informal sector because of the "easy money" it allowed.

"There are many different forms of child labour that exist particularly in the informal sector. "This includes manufacturing industry, scrap metal scavenging, begging, street vendors and wheelbarrow boys.

"Often, these areas are hidden and unregulated and for trade unions and governments, it's easier to work within the regulated and formal sectors rather than the informal sectors."

The meet also revealed that every four years, the ILO releases the Global Child Labour Report meaning the next report will come out next year, outlining recent figures as well as the trends.

The meet was hosted by the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) and Education International (EI).

by Dawn Gibson
Fiji Times 10.05.2013