Winrock Int’l-CLEAR II Project Announces Temporary Closure

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Partial view of participants at the Close-out event.

WinRock International CLEAR II Project in Liberia has announced the temporary closure of its project activities effective as of May 24, 2019. CLEAR is the Country Level Engagement to Reduce Child Labour through building of capacity of host government.

Funding for the project implementation in Liberia is provided by the United States Department of Labour under cooperative agreement number IL-26260-14K and CLEAR II project is led by Winrock International.

The project worked to ensure that the capacity of the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour and National Commission on Child Labour of Liberia (NACOMAL) is built to reduce child labour in Liberia in line with three intermediate objectives. The three objectives are: Child Labour Law Reform; Monitoring and Evaluation of child labour activities in Liberia; and the Implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Child Labour.

The Country Coordinator of CLEAR II Project, James Yekeh, said the project along with the NACOMAL worked together for two-years in line with International partners including Lawyers Without Borders and Verité to ensure that the implementation of the three objectives were met.

He hailed participants from line Ministries and Agencies of Government as well as local and international organizations in the fight to reduce child labour in Liberia, noting that “it is because of their tireless support that had enable the Winrock International CLEAR II Project in Liberia to succeed. That is why when we are about to leave temporarily in line with our donate funding we have to inform you that we have done a great job, yet there are still some gaps and challenges.”

Mr. Yekeh informed partners in the fight to reduce child labour in Liberia that the Close-out event was organized to enable them discuss the way forward as to how these gaps and challenges identified during the implementation of the project could be addressed. It also focuses on the achievement of the project during its two years of operation in Liberia.

He used the occasion to express gratitude to United States Embassy near Monrovia for their many support to the project during its implementation in the country.

According to the Outcome Document of the CLEAR II Close-out event produced by representatives from the Government, Social partners, non-governmental organizations and Civil Society organizations, child labour is a social problem worldwide and Government capacity building is key to the elimination of child labour and its worst forms.

The document called on the Government of Liberia to endorse the National Action Plan (NAP) document to provide a window of opportunity for its implementation; to endorse the hazardous work lists and light work lists and Decent Work Act Recommendation Amendments to enhance the effective and efficient implementation; and to ratify ILO Convention 138 for the elimination of the worst form of child labour in the country.

They also want government to mainstream child labour elimination issue into national development frameworks; to provide logistics and make budgetary allotment for NACOMAL to enhance effective and efficient coordination of child labour elimination issues; to institutionalize training for labour inspectors and private sector management using the labour inspector curriculum developed by Verite in collaboration with MOL; to strengthen labour administration and inspection services to adequately address child labour situations; and to fully support the NSC quarterly coordination meeting.

Deputy Labour Minister for Planning and Manpower Development, Atty. Phil T. Dixon, acknowledged that Winrock International has been the leading partner to the Ministry of Labour in the fight to reduce child labour in Liberia.

He assured partners that before the close of 2019, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour will release the list of hazardous work and what constitutes light work in Liberia in line with the Decent Work Act of Liberia.

He used the occasion to thank Winrock International, the United States Department of Labour and United States Embassy in Monrovia for their many support in the fight to eliminate child labour in Liberia.

Atty. Dixon further informed the partners that the Government of Liberia has endorsed the NAP for the elimination of Child Labour in Liberia as well as the National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons, but was quick to note that the official presentation of the document will take place on June 12, 2019 during the celebration of the “World Day Against Child Labour” in Monrovia.

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