CHILD LABOR ON RISE IN SAMOA

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 6) – A non-government organization in Samoa says child labor is becoming more prevalent, and the government needs to do more to keep children in school.

The Ministry of Education has confirmed children are often seen outside of school, sometimes working in the markets.

The Vice-President of Mapusaga o Aiga, or Family Haven, says economic hardship usually plays a role in parents keeping their children out of school.

Maiava Visekota Peteru says the number of children on the street selling wares has grown, and not enough is being done to ensure they get an education.

He said, "There needs to be a combined effort, of both the raising of the school age, and also policing to ensure that children do attend school and that children are not involved in basically what is child labor."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has put forward a proposal for cabinet to raise the school leaving age to 14, instead of 12.

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