Message from the Hon. Colin E. Jordan, M.P.,
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations
on World Day Against Child Labour – 12th June 2021
2021 is being observed as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour with the theme Act Now, End Child Labour. The International Labour Organization, in collaboration with key partners, is encouraging countries to scale up their actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 – the immediate prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, and ending all forms by 2025.
As a result of the political will of member countries and the concerted efforts of the International Labour Organization the world witnessed a significant progress in the elimination of child labour. The 2016 statistics indicated that there were approximately 152 million children involved in child labour. This represented a significant reduction of over 100 million children since 2000! As a result of these efforts a greater number of children are now able to attend school, learn and play. They can be children!
Yet, as we celebrate these achievements, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened to reverse the progress made. Families are being confronted with the real need to provide food and other basics. What this means for many across the world is that children have been forced to engage in work. This situation has also been aggravated by the closure of schools. Of great concern is the recent announcement by the International Labour Organisation that child labour has increased to 160 million for the first time in over two decades. Our work is not over!
I take this opportunity to thank all those organizations across the public, private and third sectors who have been working tirelessly, at the local and international level, to protect the welfare of our children.
Today Barbados stands in solidarity with the world to observe World Day Against Child Labour. We recommit ourselves to ensuring our children can develop and grow into fulfilled adults. We pledge an environment that allows this goal to be realised.
Act Now! Join us in ending child labour.