Labour Ministry discusses child labour in communities across Belize
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines child labour as work, which deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It’s work that is quote “harmful to physical and mental development” and quote “is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and/or interferes with their schooling. This issue is part of a larger focus by the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government’s Child Labour Education tour. Last Wednesday, the ministry took their tour to the Corozal District communities of Chunox, Sarteneja, Progresso and Copper Bank. A release from the Ministry says that village council chairpersons, teachers, principals, farmers, parents and students participated in the sessions. Sessions are scheduled to be held nationwide for the sugar, banana and citrus industries and other agro-industry stakeholders. The Ministry is using this as a platform to advocate for and to protect the rights of children and create partnerships with various organisations – including the private sector – to see the final implementation of the country’s National Child Labour Policy and Strategy 2022-2025. The overarching goal, the Ministry says, is to prohibit the employment of children in certain occupations, regulate the working conditions of children in other occupations, and eradicate the worst forms of child labour in Belize by 2025.