Monday, February 16, 2009

Well Done Save the Children for alerting the hierachies in Fiji on the plight of Fiji Children!

Fiji Times online has this story on Fiji Children. It is imminent Poverty & Child Labour will sky rocket after the recent floods, an important issue that Voreqe B & his team will have to address after all, these Children will become Future leaders of Fiji!!

Read on....

Suffer the child

Margaret Wise
Saturday, February 14, 2009

CHILDREN could become victims of child labour after the impact of the floods which ravaged crops, farms and people's labour around the country over the past two months.

And Save the Children Fiji is calling all parents, guardians and members of the community to be vigilant about the care and protection of their children.

"It is a serious issue which the people and the State must tackle," said child rights manager Iris Low-Mckenzie.

"These challenges are unquestionably creating uncertainty for us. Poverty is increasing and people are sometimes overwhelmed by the changes that are often incomprehensible to them.

"Natural disasters can act as a push factor toward child labour," said Ms Low-Mckenzie. Children are therefore increasingly vulnerable to poverty which can lead to an increase in the number of street children, children not attending school as we experienced in Fiji and children could resort to selling bean or cleaning the streets at night, sexual abuse, violence and forced labour.

"Therefore, there is a risk that the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Fiji will be on the increase."

Ms Low-Mckenzie said additionally, children who were sent to live with extended families on the idea that they would be better off, could be enslaved in a daily life of domestic labour, receiving little to no education at all. They become vulnerable to be abused physically, mentally and sexually. On the other hand, children are prone to move to the city areas who were not affected by the flood for a better life. However, once they realise the hardships there is in the city, they are vulnerable to forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation."

Meanwhile, the International Labour Organisation will conduct a workshop next week to support the implementation of a baseline survey and research to access the magnitude of child labour in the country.

Through its TACKLE program, funded by the European Union, the workshop aims to identify issues and target areas for programming.

The workshop also aims to clarify the distinction between "children in employment" and "child labour".

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