“In 2018, the Bureau of International Labour Affairs report stated that the children in Samoa engage in the worst forms of child labour especially in the form of street vending.”
APIA, SAMOA – 13 JUNE 2020: Samoa yesterday joined the World Day Against Child Labour. In 2018, the Bureau of International Labour Affairs report stated that the children in Samoa engage in the worst forms of child labour especially in the form of street vending. Fast forward to the present, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour says Samoa has managed to reduce this issue through various forms of mechanisms.
Every year on 12th June since 2002, countries celebrate the World Day against Child Labour with the intention to shine light on this important issue as well as action and efforts required to eliminate it globally. After ratifying the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention in 2008, Samoa joined other ILO members in fostering the worldwide effort to prevent child labour in any of its forms.
As the world currently faces the COVID 19 pandemic, it is causing health concerns, economic and social setbacks including the impacts imposed on children participating in labour activities across the most vulnerable countries. World Day against Child Labour 2020 focuses on impacts of the crisis on child labour.
Before the COVID-19 spread, almost 100 million children have been removed from child labour bringing down the number from 246 million in 2000 to 152 million in 2016 in accordance with ILO data. However, this crisis brings about a possibility of greater risks for millions of vulnerable children into child labour. The pandemic can lead to disrupted education, family illness and the potential loss of household income especially in areas with absence of adequate social protection systems.
“Currently, Asia and the Pacific ranks the second highest in child labour confirming the notion that children found in worst forms of child labour are usually with the low-income countries.”
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour ‘MCIL’ takes the lead in improving enforcement and relevant legislation to assist in combating exploitation of children in the formal sector. Section 51 of the Labour and Employment Relations Act 2013 ‘Act’ as well as section 21, 22 & 23 of the Regulations 2016 ‘LERR’ serves as a reminder to all employers on their obligations regarding the employment of children.
The Samoa National Tripartite forum housed under MCIL continues to implement programs and decisions that aim to further improve child labour issues for the country. To further address this issue, the government is taking an inter-agency approach spearheaded by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development and in partnership with the International Labour Organization.