MOL Launches Community Leadership Mapping On Child Labor

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The Ministry of Labor and partners have launched a Community Leadership Mapping and Awareness Exercise in the 17 electoral districts of Montserrado County.

   The project is intended to identify community leaders and profile their basic information, conduct training and outreach on the issues of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking.

   The pilot project is being undertaken in the 17 electoral districts of Montserrado County, and is expected to run for fifteen days beginning February 23, 2023.

   It is also being implemented through a concerted force of the Ministry of Labor and partners, local NGOs and the Liberia Scout Association in every community in Liberia, starting with Montserrado County.

   Speaking during the official launch of the project on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at the Ministry of Labor, the Chairman of the National Commission on Child Labor, Labor Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, said the exercise is intended to enlighten community leaders as well as every parent and guardian on how they should, and should not, treat children.

At the launch of the Community Leadership Mapping and Awareness Exercise

   He said to ensure a successful implementation of the exercise, several institutions have been brought on board, including the Liberia Scout Association, noting that Boy Scout Association can be useful in many ways of nation building. He added that the members of the Liberia Scout Association will be deployed in communities across the 17 districts of Montserrado County to engage community leaders on child labor issues and encourage them to take the exercise seriously.

   According to Minister Gibson, the Decent Work Act of 2015 provides that, within twelve months after its enactment, the commission should come up with a list of work that children should do and not do in protecting them from harmful things. According to Minister Gibson, past governments were unable to meet this international obligation, but the CDC-led government, working with partners, have developed the “hazardous and light-work-list) or list of work that children should and must not do.

   He said the list of works children should do and must not do have been ratified and put into regulation, in fulfillment of the government’s obligation to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

  The Labor Minister Further told the gathering that Liberia has, for the first time, drafted a child labor law that has the propensity to rescue or stop children from engaging into child labor practices such as selling between cars in the streets.

   He said unlike before when rescued children were turned over to the same parent or foster parent, this time safe-homes have been established to keep the children for few days before turning them over to their parents.

   He said the child labor law, which is before the National Legislature, when enacted will allow the police to give warning to parents for the first time when the child’s right is violated before fining or sanctioning them.

   Speaking on behalf of the Liberia Scout Association, Ambassador Aaron D. Kollie, Chief Commissioner of the Association, hailed the Minister of Labor for the recognition of the Liberia Scout Association.

   “We see this recognition and our involvement into this as a great opportunity which we will prioritize most, and will do everything in our willpower to do the task we have been called to do,” Chief Commissioner Kollie stated.

    Kollie said they were pleased that the Scout Association had started to be recognized at this high level, and they are looking forward for such an opportunity to continue.

   He said the Liberia Scout Association has been working since its founding on January 26, 1923, but has been lacking the opportunity.

   He assured the Ministry of Labor that once they continue to have the opportunity, whether supported financially or not they will always be available to do their duties to God and their country, to help other people at all times and to keep themselves physically strong.

    For his part, the Program Officer of WInrock International, Beyan L. Porbowu, thanked the National Commission on Labor (NACOMA), especially the Child Labor Division of the Ministry of Labor, for the initiative in the fight against child Labor across Liberia.

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