Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan. (FP)

2021 is being observed as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour with the theme Act Now, End Child Labour. The International Labour Organization, in collaboration with key partners, is encouraging countries to scale up their actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 – the immediate prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, and ending all forms by 2025.

As a result of the political will of member countries and the concerted efforts of the International Labour Organization, the world has witnessed significant progress in the elimination of child labour.

The latest statistics indicate that there are approximately 152 million children involved in child labour. This represents a significant reduction of over 100 million children. As a result of these efforts, a greater number of children are now able to attend school, learn and play. They can be children!

Yet, as we celebrate these achievements, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened to reverse the progress made. Families are being confronted with the real need to provide food and other basics. What this means for many across the world is that children have been forced to engage in work. This situation has also been aggravated by the closure of schools.

I take this opportunity to thank all those organisations across the public, private and third sectors who have been working tirelessly, at the local and international level, to protect the welfare of our children.

Today, Barbados stands in solidarity with the world to observe World Day Against Child Labour. We recommit ourselves to ensuring our children can develop and grow into fulfilled adults. We pledge an environment that allows this goal to be realised.

Act Now! Join us in ending child labour.

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan

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