MAP16 Project activities in Fiji

The project contributes to the promotion of decent work in Fiji by contributing to the elimination of child labour and worst forms of child labour with support from the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations, Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation and Fiji Trade & Union Congress. The project aims to assist Fiji in its capacity as a Pathfinder country and to contribute to achieving SDG 8.7.

National context

The work on child labour in Fiji is progressing and has resulted in Fiji accumulating considerable child labour expertise and experience in aligning national legislation with international standards relevant to children. To date this work has included building the knowledge base on child labour through research, training and stakeholder consultation at the national, industry and community level, and advancing awareness in communities by collaborating with key stakeholders who work with children.

The Fijian Government has taken action to eliminate child labour in all its forms including the worst forms of child labour by enacting the Hazardous Occupation List prohibited for children under 18 years in 2013.

Fiji is a Pathfinder country and has committed to accelerating action to meet objectives under SDG Target 8.7.

With regards to legislation towards the protection of children, the Fijian Constitution under Section 10 provides for freedom from slavery, forced labour and Human Trafficking. Section 31 provides for Right to Education while Section 41 provides for Rights of Children.

Fiji’s National Child Labour Policy aims to strengthen protection legislations and policies for the protection of children. According to the 2015 -2016 Rapid Assessment of Children Working on the Streets in the Informal Sector and in the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Fiji, working children are driven to work to support their family and themselves and some work two, three or four jobs. The rapid assessment indicated that the main reasons for going to work shared by working children were related to earning an income to support the family. These included:
  • financial constraints;
  • opportunity to earn money, support the family; and
  • family problems/ breakdown apart from other reasons.
The working children despite the challenging circumstance aspire to become teachers, mechanics, rugby players, chefs at big restaurants, artists, and ship engineers amongst other professions, while some dream to return to school.

Project activities

  • Develop the National Child Labour Policy and National Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour and the Worst Forms of Child Labour (NAPCL) in Fiji.
  • Update the legal framework on child labour in Fiji and align with relevant international conventions.
  • Improve the knowledge-base on child labour and access to information for the prevention of the risks and dangers of Worst Forms of Child Labour for the population.
  • Pilot actions to eradicate child labour

Partners

Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Fiji Commerce & Employment Federation, Fiji Trade Union Congress, and Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

Target beneficiaries

Communities, children, families, employees, employers, young journalists, media editors, civil society.


1 Pledge maker: Jone Usamate, Minister of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations. Visit: www.alliance87.org/events/iv-global-conference-on-the-sustained-eradication-of-child-labour.