Sri Lanka to implement national policy to eliminate child labour

2016-12-14 09:39:27 GMT2016-12-14 17:39:27(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

COLOMBO, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's cabinet on Wednesday approved a national policy to eliminate child labour in the country.

Sri Lanka agreed to eliminate child labour at the Global Child Labour Conference in 2010 held at the Hague in the Netherlands.

The government has said there has been a decrease of 50 percent in use of child labour from 2008/2009 to 2015/2016 indicating the ability of eliminating child labour in Sri Lanka.

The government has also said the national policy is essential to regain the GSP plus trade concession from the European Union.

Accordingly, a proposal made by the Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W.D.J. Seneviratne to adopt and implement the national policy on child labour was approved by the cabinet of ministers.

The National Survey on Child Labour conducted in 1999 estimated just over 900,000 children to be economically active in Sri Lanka.

In 2006, following the release of the second Global Report on Child Labour, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) urged its members to commit themselves to eradicate the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

To do this, all countries are called to design and put in place appropriate time-bound measures by 2008.

The action plan is to be based on three pillars: supporting and mainstreaming national responses to child labour, deepening and strengthening the worldwide movement against child labour and further integrating child labour concerns in overall ILO strategies to promote decent work for all.

A report by the UN children's agency, UNICEF, quoted a national survey on child labour conducted in 1999 as estimating just over 900,000 children to be economically active in Sri Lanka.