Approximately 38,000 children involved in child labour islandwide, says Henry

Approximately 38,000 children involved in child labour islandwide, says Henry

Friday, July 31, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Approximately 38,000 children in Jamaica are now involved in child labour, says Minister of Labour and Social Security Mike Henry.

According to the minister, a 2016 survey, which was released in 2018, revealed that the parishes of Clarendon with 5,417, St Elizabeth with 4,126, St Andrew with 3,799 and St Catherine with 3,684 are leading the way with highest number of cases.

Henry said even though the figures are staggering, the Government is committed to arresting this form of child abuse. He also noted that the uniqueness of child labour across the parishes makes it difficult to use the one size fits all approach.

However, the Child Labour Risk Identification Model (CLRISK) the first of its kind in the Caribbean Region is being used to identify geographic areas and sectors of abuse. The CLRISK is a preventative tool developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ELAC).

Henry indicated that with this model, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is now in a better position to identify geographical areas and sectors with the highest probability of Child Labour and implement measures to disrupt its operations in Jamaica.

The minister further stated that greater emphasis must now be placed on good parenting and the building of solid family structures since "it takes a village to raise a child". He said that the Afro-centricity in the statement must be fully recognised, as it speaks to that which must now be taught to help eliminate Child Labour in Jamaica.

Henry was speaking at an awards ceremony for young participants in the recent Child Labour Essay Competition, held at the ministry's North Street office in Kingston on Thursday.

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