Pursuit of social justice will prevent, eradicate child labour – Min. Hamilton

As Guyana joins the rest of the world in observance of World Day Against Child Labour on June 12, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton said the government’s pursuit of social justice for all will see the prevention and eventual eradication of child labour.  

Minister Hamilton made the statement during his message in observance of the day, which is being observed under the theme: ‘Social Justice for All. End Child Labour.’

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton

“Together with our inclusive and well-performing education system, we have a good social protection system, which covers many social benefits, including foster care and adoption and public assistance benefits...There is, in place, an adequate legislative framework, to effectively deal with the issue of child labour,” Minister Hamilton stated.

The administration will continue to raise awareness on the issue of child labour and the detrimental, emotional, and physical effects that children forced into labour experience.

The labour minister underlined that dialogue among social partners must continue, to advance the legal commitment to the elimination of child labour.

Students participating in the ministry’s child labour awareness walk

“I wish to remind employers that they have a responsibility to prevent and eliminate this scourge in society, and to ensure that the necessary due diligence in their business processes and supply chain is done to discourage the involvement of child labour in the business ecosystem,” he stated.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 160 million children are working as minors worldwide, or around one in ten of all children.

Minister Hamilton believes, “This is indeed troubling. Therefore, conscious efforts must be taken to ensure that policies, programmes, and initiatives are germane and effective so that the commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 8.7, to end child labour in all of its forms by 2025 is realised.”

This year, awareness walks will be held in Regions Four, Five and Six, and visits will be made to 25 secondary schools across Guyana, to interact with the students on the issue of child labour.

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