Samoa holds Child Labour workshop, launches follow-up rapid assessment on street vendors

The development of the National Workplan for Child Labour is one of the ways Samoa is trying to eliminate child labour and street vendors.

The event also featured the launch of a follow-up rapid assessment on street vendors.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour’s Chief Executive Officer, Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling, ensuring the safety of children is of great significance.

“As highlighted in the national policy on childcare and protection; the safety, welfare and best interests of the child is paramount; this is central to our responsibility to ensure the protection of our children in all situations whether at home, in school, or in the workplace,” he said.

He added that following on from the Child Labour Forum in November 2021 confirming Samoa’s commitment to the Alliance 8.7 initiative.

“We are now at the critical stage of finalizing our National Action Plan. Child Labour is defined as work that is performed by a Child that affects their mental, physical and moral development and prevents their full participation in schooling.

“This means we must address this issue at multiple levels, the family, the community, school attendance and formal and informal employment.

“Furthermore, in order to achieve real progress, plans, policies and legislation must be realistic and implemented by those responsible.”

Pulotu also highlighted that in order to strengthen evidence for accurate planning and targeted interventions, the Ministry with the ongoing support of the ILO and UNICEF conducted a follow up Rapid Assessment Survey of Child Street Vendors.

“The updated findings and recommendations from this report will inform our National Action Plan under the Alliance 8.7. Hence, why the strategic workshop today is so important.

“Therefore, I encourage all our stakeholders who have been working in this space to share your expertise and experiences towards achieving a realistic and impactful National Action Plan.

“I would like to convey our sincere appreciation to the International Labour Organization and UNICEF for your support provided to Samoa in its efforts to ensure labour standards continuously improve for the benefit of its people and especially the safety, health, and moral development of our children in the world of work.”

Pulotu also wished all participants a productive forum.

“I am confident that we will reach concrete resolutions with the ultimate objective to eliminate child labour in all its forms.”

During his opening remarks, Matin Karimli, Director of the ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, affirmed that ILO would continue to support Samoa in implementing its Child Labour workplan and achieving the Alliance 8.7 goals by 2025.

He stressed the significance of a strong commitment and coordination among all stakeholders and the need for a well-coordinated governance structure to define roles and responsibilities.

The national consultation on the child labour workplan was recently at Taumeasina Island Resort.


Adel Fruean