By David A. Yates
The National Commission on Child Labor has conducted its 9th National Steering Committee (NSC) meeting for the elimination of the worst form of child labor in the country.
The meeting was held at the Ministry of Labor in Monrovia and it brought together representatives from line ministries of government, employers and workers’ organizations, the private sector, civil society, non-governmental organizations, among others.
Allen Lincoln, research officer in the office of Labor Minister Neto Zarzar Lighe, who spoke on his behalf, said the government through the MOL attaches grave seriousness to the workings of the NSC on the elimination of child labor in the country.
He said the government is doing everything possible to encourage members of the NSC to remain involved in the process of accelerating the fight against child labor.
During the meeting, the country coordinator of WinRock International/CLEAR II Project in Liberia, James Yekeh, used the occasion to introduce the County Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce (CLEAR) Child Labor II to members of the NCS.
Mr. Yekeh said CLEAR II is a four-year United States Department of Labor (USDOL) funded project that cooperates with the government with technical assistance to support the reduction of child labor practices. Using targeted activities, CLEAR II enhances capacity and support meaningful efforts to implement actions to reduce child labor practices in the country.
He told participants that CLEAR II has four intermediate objectives to increase the capacity of the government in the fight against child labor. It also provides support to legislation that addresses child labor.
Yekeh said the objectives include the effective implementation of national plans of action on child labor; enhanced implementation and improvement in polices and social programs aimed at the reduction and prevention of child labor, such as increasing access to basic education and vocational training; and an increase in social protection services and employment creation.
He noted that the CLEAR II Project works closely with labor inspectors from the Ministry of Labor in the implementation of the project.
The national coordinator of the National Commission on Child Labor, Ms. Patience S. Heah, urged members of the NSC to attend regular meetings of the committee as a means of uniting efforts in the fight against child labor in Liberia.
She informed the NSC members that the National Action Plan (NAP) for the elimination of child labor in Liberia document was validated in February 2017 and is awaiting cabinet’s approval and subsequent launch for implementation.
Ms. Heah added that when it is launched, the NAP document will run alongside the government of Liberia’s “Agenda for Transformation” to reduce child labor in Liberia by a least fifty percent by 2030.