A two-day rapid assessment and strategies workshop to end child labour in Solomon Islands was successfully completed in Honiara this afternoon.
Attended by stakeholders from Government agencies and civil society, the workshop was led by the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor, or IPEC, under the International Labor Organisation.
The workshop was also a follow-up to a National Child Labor and Trafficking Forum which was requested by the Government, held in August this year.
The IPEC Project Coordinator, Marie Fatiaki told SIBC News the workshop was to present interim findings of a rapid assessment on child labor in Honiara to stakeholders.
Mrs Fatiaki says the rapid assessment, which was conducted last month, was designed to find out what type of work children are doing in Honiara and whether that had an impact on their education, socio-economic situations, family conditions, and so on.
“So it was discovered that there are children who are working to earn an income, there are children in child labour who are working below the minimum age of employment and there are also children who work in what is known as the worst forms of child labour, which means that the children are either in illicit activities like drug trafficking or children in commercial sexual exploitation.”
The IPEC Project Coordinator also said based on the findings, stakeholders have started discussing some actions and possible programmes to address the issues that were raised.
“The key recommendations would be work on legislation, work on coordination of stakeholders to be able to address the issues. Some of the main issues that were highlighted by stakeholders from the presentation of the initial findings are the financial situation of the families, poverty, employment opportunity, unemployment and also education. For the rapid assessment it was found that there were quite a lot of children who had dropped out of school or who had never been to school, so some of the recommendations in terms of moving forward was on establishing a taskforce to really address the issue on children in child labour.”