The Ministry of Labor has frowned on the wave of child labor in the country, stressing the need to end the practice. LabourMinister NetoZarzarLighe, Sr. said the law against child labor should be vigorously enforced to get children off the streets. “We see our children during school hours selling in the streets, while their mates are in school, children these days have been used as bread winners of the various homes, these things must come to an end”, he emphasized.
Speaking to UNMIL Radio on Tuesday,21 February he said the issue of child labor has drawn the attention of the Ministry and everything was being done to minimize the act.
“I think what is needed to put an end to this child labor thing is for every stakeholder to join hands in the fight against this act, because this is mostly happening in the informal sector, people that are in those sectors don’t really understand the implications of child labor, and so we all need to come together as one head and work together to avoid the continuation of this act”, said Minister Lighe.
He said the ministry is working to ensure that the issue of child labor is addressed, because often there are complaints from the public. “And just to say, our recent conclusion was also centered around this same child labor thing, as you may be aware, we just concluded the validation of a national action plan.”
According to the Labour boss, the recent validation was at the result of numerous consultations held with local and international partners on how to address child labor here saying, “The document is expected to be submitted to cabinet, where they will endorse it before it reaches the President.”
“If all of us put our hands together, to make sure that the issue of child labor is avoided, high level of awareness, everyone working in the child labor sector to serve as ambassador to stop the child labor, Liberia will be a better place”, he further emphasized.
He said the Ministry of Labour cannot address the problem alone, because there are so many things that needed to be added. “We cannot address this child labor issue 100 percent, simply because there are number of things that are required in addressing them, but what I think can be done is to work with other relevant government ministries, and agencies, including the Ministry of Gender, among others to bring this situation to a calm.”
The Ministry of Labor, created by an Act of the National Legislature in 1981, is charged with the Statutory Mandate to regulate the labor sector of the Republic of Liberia through development and implementation of policies for adherence to the Labor Practices Law of Liberia and International Labor Conventions.
By Lewis S. Teh& Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Jonathan Browne