Ministry stepping up campaign against child labour

The Ministry of Labour is intensifying its work to reduce and eliminate child labour in society and anyone found employing a child for wages, especially during school hours, will be prosecuted, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

And this message will be taken to the community through the Tackling Child Labour through Education programme (TACKLE) and parents will be charged for forcing children to go to work for money, GINA stated.

Minister of Labour, Manzoor Nadir has said that there are challenges with child labour and delinquency and so the Ministries of Labour and Education are partners in the TACKLE programme to impart certain key skills to children who are disadvantaged at an early age.

TACKLE was launched with an agreement signed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Euro-pean Union (EU) and the Government of Guyana (GOG). Funding for the programme is provided by the European Community (EC). Guyana is among 11 countries chosen for the programme based on its placement on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index.

Meanwhile Nadir pointed out that there is a difference between children engaging in chores and being given an incentive by their parents, as opposed to employers encouraging children below the age of 15 to work for wages. Child labour is against the law.

In most cases underage children who are employed are exploited by businessmen who are not willing to properly compensate them in exchange for their labour.

The ministry is currently increasing its capacity to conduct inspections at work sites as is evident with the recent return of some labour inspectors from Italy, GINA said.

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