Barbados will join the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the rest of the world in commemorating World Day Against Child Labour on Friday, June 12.
The theme chosen this year is: Protect Children from child labour, now more than ever! and theMinistry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations is encouraging employers and workers to, now, more than ever, ensure the protection of our most valuable resource – our children and adolescents.
World Day Against Child Labour 2020 focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour. This pandemic has had serious consequences on the lives and livelihoods of people, including children and adolescents throughout the world; and Barbados is no exception.
Countries are therefore being encouraged to further ensure that the positive, focused and coordinated efforts undertaken to date, to eradicate child labour, are not eroded during this period.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of its efforts to highlight forms of child labour, the Ministry has developed two posters, one of which addresses the worst forms that may occur, such as drug dealing, dangerous work, pornography and abuse.
The specific poster also encourages adults to make sure children have safe environments where they can have fun, play and be educated.
In 2000, Barbados ratified ILO Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age and No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. The worst forms have been identified as:
• all forms of slavery, including human trafficking and debt bondage;
• illicit activities such as prostitution, pornography and drug trafficking; and
• work that is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
In 2017, Barbados became a signatory to the ILO Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour Regional Initiative.
The Regional Initiative was created in 2014 as a tripartite platform of mutual support between countries and social partners with the aim of channeling and scaling up public and private efforts to accelerate the reduction of child labour.
This targeted approach is aimed at bringing about the first child labour free generation in Latin America and the Caribbean. These efforts will also see the achievement of Goal 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks to end child labour by 2025.
Barbadians and others seeking to learn more about child labour may visit the websites of the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and the International labour Organization.