Towards child labour free Sri Lanka

A workshop for Deputy Commissioners of Labour and Assistant Commissioners of Labour on guidelines on the child labour free zone model to replicate the model in other 24 districts.

Introduction

Primary responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the National Policy on Elimination of Child Labour in Sri Lanka rests with the Ministry of Labour, Trade Union Relations and Sabargamuwa Development and the Department of Labour.

The Department of Labour has its own network countrywide. There are 10 Zonal Offices managed by the Deputy Commissioners of Labour, 40 District Offices headed by the Assistant Commissioners of Labour and 16 Sub Offices handled by the Senior Labour Officers. It is expected that this network should coordinate with the administrative set up headed by the District Secretaries of the country in order to implement the National Policy on Elimination of Child Labour.

Zonal Offices function is coordinating and supervision offices of District Labour Offices. At the District level, the District Child Development Committee (DCDC) performs the coordinating role for action related to children. The DCDCs have the potential to support coordinating action against child labour as well. The DCDC chaired by the District Secretary will ensure that elimination of child labour is mainstreamed into the District Development Plans and provide adequate fiscal facilities to reach District level targets.

Each Province and District, in consultation with the Ministry of Labour, will come up its own plan as it is most feasible and cost-effective and best focal point to support the implementation of the Child Labour (CL) guidelines and the policy.

Therefore, the Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and the Senior Labour Officers need to be familiarized with the Policy and Action Plan for the implementation of the policy and they have to be instructed how to coordinate with the district administration and the other officers who work for the welfare of children countrywide.

Further, a unit on child labour, supervised by the existing Division for Women and Children Affairs of the Department of Labour under the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations and Sabaragamuwa Development will be established within the Ministry. It will serve as the Secretariat for the implementation of the Policy. It will work closely with the Provincial and District structures as well as with other partners and will be responsible for monitoring of the child labour situation in all 25 Districts and assessing the situation. The staff of this special unit as well as the other staff of the Women and Children Affairs Division of the Department are also to be familiarized with all the activities connected with the implementation of CL guidelines and the CL policy.

Objective of the Workshop

To enhance capacity on CL guidelines and CL policy of the Women and Children Affairs Division, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners in charge for the District Labour Offices and the Senior Labour Officers in charge for the Sub Labour Offices of the Department of Labour.
Outputs of the Workshop
  • Established a unit on child labour, supervised by the existing Division for Women and Children Affairs of the Department of Labour under the Ministry of Labour will be established within the Ministry
  • Improved capacity of Labour officers on CL guidelines and CL policy to develop Action Plans for each and every District
  • Improved participation of Labour Officers at District level child protection mechanism specially in District level Child Development Committees( DCDC) to reduce child labour and promote social protection network at District, Divisional and community level