Consultation on National Child Labour Policy

The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Social Protection, Department of Labour, has begun national consultations with stakeholders, to inform its direction on the National Child Labour Policy. Members of the Public Sector, Private Sector, Religious Groups and other organisations met at the Ministry’s Water and Cornhill streets Annex to discuss and give recommendations on various areas the policy should cover.

The consultations included representatives from the Ministry’s Child Care and Protection Agency, Trafficking in Persons Department, Gender Affairs Bureau and Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit.

The department of Labour over the coming weeks will be meeting with stakeholders across the country to discuss their opinions and concerns about what should be included in the Policy.

When the policy is completed a national action plan will be put in place.

According to the United States Department of Labour “In 2016, Guyana made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, the Government reformed the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Combating Trafficking in Persons, began developing a National Action Plan and Policy on Child Labor, and finalized the 2017–2018 National Action Plan on Combating Trafficking in Persons.”

The Government has also established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations against Child Labour and has ratified all key international conventions concerning the issue.

Assistant Chief Labour Officer, Mrs. Karen Vansluytman-Corbin, explained that in keeping ILO’s conventions 138 and 182 which deals with minimum age and addresses the worst forms of child labour respectively, the Government has several key forms of legislation in place to combat Child Labour such as the “employment of young child and young person’s act and the occupational safety and health act.

The Ministry of Social Protection, Department of Labour, is mandated to monitor, inspect for, investigate and prosecute instances of Child Labour.