International Labour Organization Assesses Child Labor Situation In Fiji

Root causes such as dysfunctional families, poverty still need to be addressed

By Kalesi Mele

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 14, 2017) – The root causes of child labour such as dysfunctional families and poverty still need to be addressed, according to an assessment conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the country.

ILO director Donglin Li highlighted that the organisation conducted two rapid assessments in 2009 and 2015 in the country. Mr Donglin said from both assessments it was clear that the child labour activities revealed in the child surveys conducted in the country in 2009 were still present six years later in 2015.

[PIR editor's note: On June 13, 2017 RNZI reported that 'The Fiji Government says 193 children have been withdrawn from child labour situations and returned to school since the Child Labour Unit was set up in 2011.']

"In addition, the assessments found children exploited through hazardous work such as agriculture, scrap metal, scavenging, construction, and illicit activities such as drug trafficking and begging," he said.

Mr Donglin revealed that violence against children, including bullying, humiliation, abuse (physical, sexual and emotional) were causes and consequences of children dropping out of school and being trapped in child labour.

"Poverty, parental illiteracy and poor academic performance and lack of employment opportunities were identified as factors that increased risk and vulnerability to child labour," he said.

The household income and expenditure survey (HIES) found 61 per cent of children belonged to families living below the basic needs poverty line and almost 80 per cent of children were in families that lacked sufficient income to invest in their development.

"Children in specific areas of the country were identified as being particularly disadvantaged, including those living in squatter settlements, low quality urban housing, rural areas and the Northern Division," Mr Li said.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2017 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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Comments

To assesses children not to live school while they are young because through education will brings them bright future.In order for them to come to school we should amphasiz them not to quit school and look into the future.As a student i know how ,why and we have to go to school.

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