Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer Suckoo. (FILE)
BRIDGETOWN – The International Labour Organization (ILO) says Barbados has become the ninth Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to join the Regional Initiative, Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour.
It said that the island’s Labour Minister Esther Byer Suckoo handed over the signed agreement to José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, ILO Regional Director of the Americas and Caribbean in the margins of the Organization of American States (OAS) XX Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour held here earlier this month.
It said as a result of Barbados signing the agreement, it now brings the total number of participating countries in the region to 28, all aligned in pursuit of a common objective: to accelerate the rate of reduction of child labour in the region and by 2025, to eliminate all forms of child labour.
“The adhesion of Barbados reflects the commitment and importance attributed by the Caribbean countries to the tripartite collaboration and partnership among governments, and employers and workers organisations, as the region works towards achieving Target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda,” the ILO added.
According to the ILO, Barbados has ratified the commitments set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has also ratified ILO Conventions 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment and 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
It noted that in Barbados, the minimum age established for employment is 16 years, however, according to estimates done in 2014, the incidence of child labour in the country was 3.5 per cent between 5-14 years of age.
“As part of the country’s efforts to combat the issue, Barbados has established the National Committee for Monitoring the Rights of the Child, which seeks to generate recommendations on policies that favour the rights of children and sensitizes communities on the matter. Among the challenges faced by Barbados is the creation of lists of light work and dangerous work for minors,” the ILO added. (CMC)