ILO to further tackle child labour in Fiji

As part of a global effort to end child labour by 2016. The second phase of tackling child labour through education (TACKLE) has been launched in Fiji. The initiative funded by the European Union referred to as TACKLE II, will strengthen the systems and structures put in place by stakeholders engaged in the first TACKLE project from 2008 to 2013.

News | 19 February 2015
The second phase of the project will be implemented in Fiji over the next 24 months by the ILO in collaboration with the Ministries of Employments, Education, Social Welfare and the International Labour Organization’s senior partners.

The primary focus is to eradicate child labour, get children back to school and help them get jobs if they’ve reached employment age.

“TACKLE II provides Fiji with the opportunity to establish itself in the region as the technical “resource hub for child labour in the Pacific”. Already through the ILO’s Pacific sub-regional child labour and trafficking programme, we have been able to share much of the Fiji TACKLE experience here- for example processes for child labour inspections and designs for child labour research- with countries such as Kiribati, Samoa, PNG, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands.,” said David Lamotte, Director, ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries.

During the first TACKLE programme more than 175 children employed as child labour in various work sites around Fiji from 2011 to 2014 were successfully withdrawn from these work sites by the Labour Ministry's Child Labour Unit.

The European Union wants all children to be given every opportunity available for a better life.

“Recent example of our support is investing in people programmes since 2011 our development partners in different countries if the world have received almost 11m Euros and that’s 24m FJD specifically to support initiative to eliminate all form of child labour under this programme we have made arrangement and make available 1mFJD to Fiji,” said Head of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Ambassador Andrew Jacobs.

In launching TACKLE II, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jioji Konrote reiterated the Fiji government’s commitment to eradicating child labour.

“Our government is fully committed to ensure that the rights of all Fijian children which are enshrined under section 31 and 41 of the 2013 Constitution, will be safeguarded and upheld,” said Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jioji Konrote.

“The child belongs to a family when the child is left on the street than the Police will have to find the family and it is difficult to really look at the child ownership side of it,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Isikeli Vuniwaqa.

TACKLE project coordinator, Marie Jane Fatiaki says knowledge is vital to combating child labour.

‘’The weaknesses are with the coordination, the monitoring and the enforcement and tackle two focuses on trying to strengthen that. The coordination between all the different stakeholders especially the Ministries and Civil Society so that if a child is identified in child labour then the whole referral and who will take the next step’’.