General / Weekend News

Government launches anti-child labour education campaign

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

The Government of Belize, in commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour, launched a public education campaign on Friday.

The campaign, set to raise awareness about the different forms of child labour, was built around this year’s theme for this year’s commemoration, “Child Labour is a No No.”

The public education campaign will be carried out through the National Child Labour Committee, which is comprised of several government authorities, including the labour department and the National Committee for Families and Children.

The committee started the campaign with the launch of a new educational video, which discusses the various international labour organization (ILO) conventions that Belize has signed and ratified.

Lindburgh Smith Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) coordinator for the NCFC, explained that the video explained that the motivation behind the video was the national child activity survey, released last month.

“We see the need to raise awareness about child labour, because it exists in Belize,” Smith said, “so the video says who are the parties involved, what are some of the things we need to do, and what are some of the forms of child labour that exists in Belize.”

Minister of Labour, Godwin Hulse, in his remarks, emphasized that there are acceptable forms of work that a child should engage in and the educational campaign will help to highlight the distinction.

“Now we are not saying that children shouldn’t work at all; the ILO conventions specify what is called light work, such as helping at home and learning a trade,” Hulse said,” but definitely no hazardous work, and certainly nothing to do with sexual exploitation.”

Hulse added that the significant gains Belize has made in reducing child labour is attributed to the numerous interventions that the government makes by way of social programs.

World Day Against Child Labour was established by the ILO in 2002. This year makes the fist year that Belize is celebrating the day.

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