A Sub-Regional Child Labour and Trafficking forum is currently underway at the Tokatoka Hotel in Nadi, Fiji this week.
The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Pacific sub-regional child labour and trafficking programme is conducting forum.
Organized by the Tackling Child Labour through Education (TACKLE) project funded by the European Union (EU), the Forum has brought together national policy makers and practitioners from a range of relevant departments including labour, education, social welfare, workers and employers organizations, and media representatives from Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Samoa.
A statement from ILO said, forum provides a platform for ILO constituents and partners in the countries involved to develop a sub-regional strategy to tackling child labour and trafficking at the regional level as well as country strategies and priority actions.
“One of the key objectives of the Forum is the over 5 years of implementing child labour strategies, and therefore acts as a child labour resource hub for other Pacific Island Countries. Representatives from Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Kiribati and Solomon Islands will a lso have lessons learnt to share, and innovative approaches to tackling child labour.
“A crucial issue that will be addressed at the sub-regional forum is raising awareness on child labour and trafficking at all levels. Participants at the forum including government, workers, employers and media representatives will develop awareness strategies and ethical guidelines for reporting on child labour and trafficking issues.”
The TACKLE project was first implemented from 2008-2013 in 11 ACP countries, including Fiji and PNG from the Pacific.
In February 2015, the European Union provided further funding to extend the TACKLE project in Fiji for a further two year period.
Led by the ILO tri-partite partners – government, workers and employers – TACKLE has successfully engaged and fostered relationships between organisations and government departments which has led to collaborative efforts to develop strategies and innovative solutions to eliminate child labour.
The TACKLE project strengthened the capacity of governments, social partners and civil society groups to implement policies and strategies to address child labour issues, including conducting research and structured technical training, implementing legislative reviews, coordinating resource sharing platforms, raising awareness and advocacy with tri-partite partners, establishing child labour inspections, and implementing direct actions with children in child labour, children at risk, families, schools and communities.
The forum was officially be opened by Jerome Pons, Head of Section (Economic and Social Sectors), delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.
The forum ends this tomorrow.