The government through the Ministry of Labor (MoL) on October 11, 2019, launched the National Action Plan (NAP) document to eliminate the worst forms of Child Labor.
NAP is a framework document, which seeks to mobilize actors at all levels to intensify the national response and deepen the understanding of the risks and consequences of child labour. It is also a comprehensive strategy to prevent and protect children from activities detrimental to their health, education and development.
It runs from 2018 to 2030, and was developed by the MoL, and the National Steering Committee on Child Labour, with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as Winrock International/ARCH Project.
The NAP document has been approved by the Cabinet and endorsed by President George Weah.
The program was also part of activities commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child. It brought together stakeholders and partners, including the United States Embassy, ECOWAS, ILO, UNICEF, Chinese Embassy, the Liberia Labour Congress, Liberia Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the ministries and agencies, and members of National Steering Committee on Child Labour.
Senator Matthew Jaye, Chairman on the Senate Committee on Labour, said that the NAP on the elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour is the only way forward for the future of Liberia’s youthful generations.
Sen. Jaye said that as chairman of the Committee on Labour, he will work with his colleagues to ensure maximum support for the documents.
He said that the vulnerabilities of children in the country can be attributed to life-cycle challenges, natural disasters, medical problems, induced economic shocks and social exclusion.
In his keynote address on the theme, “Upholding the Effective Abolition of Child Labour,” Sen. Jaye said that there are concerns about the impact of child labour on fundamental rights as it relates to national development.
“I therefore urge MoL as lead actor to sell the NAP’s documents constructively to the public, and government agencies through civic education, and most importantly, to the first Branch of Government for budgetary support,” Jaye said.
The director of the Child Labour Section at the MoL, Madam Patience Heah, said that document was developed through a rigorous process, based on findings from a background study conducted on Child Labour issues in the country since 2013.
Ms. Head informed the gathering that due to the findings, it was compelling for the development of a NAP on Child Labour.
She said the process also involved the holding of series of meetings, workshops and consultations between 2014-2017 with financial and technical assistance from ILO, and the WINROCK International ARCH project.