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Declaration signed to protect children from explotation through work

Children in St. Kitts Nevis now have an added layer of protection from any exploitation through work that deprives them of their childhood with the recent signing of the Declaration on the Establishment of the Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour.

The Declaration was recently signed by Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, Vance Amory, during the 19th American Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Panama.

Vance Amory

According to the ILO, the term “child labour” is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.

 It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling by: depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.”

The organization however says that “it is important to note that not all work done by children should be classified as child labour that is to be targeted for elimination.

It also says that “hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.”

The ILO launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of these children. 

The day, which is observed on June 12, is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour, reflected in the ratifications of ILO Convention.

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