Photo: Hon. Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour
by Kristen Ku
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 16, 2023
On Thursday of this week, the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government conducted child labor training for frontline workers (FLW) at Biltmore Plaza, Belize City.
The training was focused on what is child labour, how to eradicate it, and opportunities for safe, nurturing environments for our children. While child labor is a worldwide problem, in Belize, statistics have shown a significant decrease in this practice, especially in Belize’s rural and agricultural sectors.
Following the child labor policy that was implemented in July of last year, the government thought it important to carry out training sessions to increase familiarity with the policy. The sessions are geared at enabling frontline workers not only to uphold this key policy but also to understand the role they play in it. After all, it is with their help and the help of the community that slowly over time, child labor will be completely diminished; at least that is the goal, says Minister of Labour, Hon. Oscar Requena.
“We are working very diligently with our labor officers across the country, and other stakeholders, our front-line workers, and that is why we are having this training, because we want them to fully understand what is the child labour policy that we have, and what is their role in ensuring that the child labor policy is implemented, and that we reduce all forms of child labor by 2025,” he said.
“I want to make it absolutely clear, because we also need to teach our children good work ethics, [and] responsibilities and for them to be able to do their chores. But that aside, it doesn’t mean that we are going to put them in very endangered environments, and that we are going to take them away from school, that we are going to deprive them [of] their childhood opportunities,” he added.