The Manpower Ministry has continued improving its labour inspection systems and has focused on the implementation of pre-emptive, preventive and repressive policies by labour inspectors in handling and tackling child labour related issues."Ida Fauziyah, Indonesian Minister of Manpower
Indonesia was the first country in Asia that has ratified the ILO’s core Conventions, including the child labour Conventions: The Minimum Age Convention No. 138 and the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour No. 182.
However, she admitted that the country has still faced some challenges. Some of the challenges include unintegrated child labour data and update, the elimination of National Committee on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in 2014 and lack of policies prioritizing the elimination of child labour at provincial and district/city levels.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the child labour condition in the country. “Increased poverty has made children more vulnerable to enter the world of work to help supporting the livelihoods of their families,” she said.
This is a time for renewed commitment and energy to break the cycle of poverty and child labour. Thus, I would like to appraise the commitment shown by the government of Indonesia and the efforts taken to reach a future without child labour in the country."Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia
The report warns that globally, nine million additional children are at risk of being pushed into child labour by the end of 2022 as a result of the pandemic. A simulation model shows this number could rise to 46 million if they don’t have access to critical social protection coverage.
“It also means that one in ten of all children worldwide are in child labour. This is a time for renewed commitment and energy to break the cycle of poverty and child labour. Thus, I would like to appraise the commitment shown by the government of Indonesia and the efforts taken to reach a future without child labour in the country,” stated Michiko.
Minister Ida concluded her presentation by highlighting various actions taken for this year as the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Some actions taken include, among others:
- Raising the awareness regarding child labour issues in the plantation sector, particularly in palm oil and tobacco sectors;
- Returning children to schools through coordinated efforts with relevant stakeholders;
- Conducting community-based training and apprenticeship programmes for child labour and vulnerable children;
- Facilitating social protection programme to workers and poor families affected by the pandemic; and
- Establishing of child labour free zones in North and South Sumatra as well as East and West Kalimantan.
“Through this virtual race, we aim to involve public at large as much as possible. The participants will act as collective ambassadors and champions as part of the social movement for the elimination of child labour and the promotion of education for all. We need to work together. Thus, the ILO is committed to support efforts taken by Indonesia to reach its target on the elimination of child labour,” Michiko concluded.
The 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour was unanimously adopted in a UN General Assembly resolution in 2019. The main aim of the year is to urge governments to do what is necessary to achieve Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, this year’s World Day Against Child Labour supports and focuses on actions taken for the International Year.