An International Labour Organization (ILO) Specialist, Diego Rei, has arrived here to assist the Department of Labour in a number of areas.
Rei, the ILO’s Employment and Labour Market Specialist, will be assisting in three key areas.
They are – establishing a labour market information system, making the department of labour a centre for information on all matters pertaining to workers and doing a study on the informal sector and child labour.
Rei explained that workers in the informal sector do not fully benefit from their rights and entitlements.
In respect of child labour, he observed that the practice was not very widespread.
According to the ILO official, estimates for the Latin American and Caribbean region point to a conservative estimate of eight percent of the total children of school age engaging in labour activities.
He disclosed that labour conventions prescribe that no children below the age of 12 should be engaged in any work.
Rei stated that between the ages of 12 and fifteen children are permitted to engage in light work.
“Between fifteen and eighteen years old they can work, but not be engaged in activities that are hazardous or detrimental to their health,” he asserted.
Rei noted that the main contributing factor to child labour is poverty.
He also pointed out that if children do not have access to school they engage in child labour.