Decent work

Sri Lanka commits to end child labor in the country

The Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations, supported by the ILO Office, held a National event to commemorate World Day Against Child Labour in Colombo.

The 12th of June each year is marked as World Day Against Child Labour .The Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations will commemorate this day at 10 am on the 22 June 2016 , at the BMICH Committee Room B. The occasion will be graced by His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka. This statement is released on account of this important commemoration.

Reduction of Child Labour around the globe took a new turn in 2010 at the International Child Labour Conference held in the Hague, Netherlands. Nations took a decision to eradicate the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016. Sri Lanka too became a signatory to this decision and drew up a Road Map, 2010 – 2016 to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in the country.

The Theme this year is to ”End Child Labour in Supply Chains”. A supply chain connects the consumer and supplier through a number of linkages which includes organizations, human resources, activities and information exchanges. No child under 14 years can be part of this chain. A child between the age of 14 to 18 years can only be engaged in this chain if it is not a hazardous form of work and does not affect the health, safety and morals of this child.

The Women and Children’s Division of the Labour Department has implemented many activities in collaboration with key stakeholders and the District Administration to achieve this objective of ridding the country of Child Labour. The main activities under prevention have been awareness creation, strengthening legal aspects, and maintaining a dialogue with key stakeholders in alleviating root causes which push children into child labour. For the last three years, a number of these activities have been combined and an approach known as a Child Labour Free Zone has been used in setting up systems to prevent child labour as well as to rescue and rehabilitate child labourers. The Ratnapura District declared itself as a Child Labour Free Zone in 2013, followed more recently by Kegalle, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla and Ampara.

Let’s work together to stop child labour; it’s everyone’s business.