‘Weak Enforcement of Local Laws Responsible for Increase in Child Labor’

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Deputy Labor Minister, Atty. Dixon.

-Says Deputy Labor Minister Dixon

Deputy Labor Minister for Planning and Manpower Development, Atty. Phil T. Dixon, has blamed the increase in child Labor practices in the country on the weak system of local law enforcement.

He said that though there cannot be 100 percent monitoring of child labor activities in the country and on the enforcement of local laws, there are some instances where the practice was identified and that the ministry took substantive efforts to reduce them.

Dixon made the statement yesterday at the opening of a two-day workshop of the National Child Labor Monitoring System (CLMS) Working Group held at the YMCA gym on Broad Street in Monrovia.

The workshop is sponsored by WINROCK International CLEAR II Project in collaboration with the National Commission on Child Labor (NACOMAL)–Ministry of Labor. It brought together over 20 participants drawn from line ministries and agencies as well as child labor monitoring groups in the country.

Atty. Dixon said that the ministry has a lot of concerns when it comes to the practice of child labor, and it is encouraging that all partners join the fight against the practice, noting, “as a new government, we see child Labor as part of some unworkable overlapping issues.”

The practice, he said, could be revolving around trafficking, because a child can be brought to Monrovia from the hinterland and ends up in one of the garages or rock crushing businesses or selling cold water in the streets of Monrovia, which are equated to child labor.

Atty. Dixon used the occasion to call on Liberians to work together to identify ways to reduce the practice, stressing for the need to strengthen its monitoring in the country.

He told the participants to take the workshop serious to enable them to fight against child labor and to do it “to the best of your ability.”

Dixon said that he hopes that the program should not come to a standstill “because donor funding dried out.”

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