National project to eradicate child labour

Nay Rai + Kyaw Myo
The coordination meeting of Myanmar National Committee on Child Labour Eradication is in progress.

A national action plan will be implemented to eradicate child labour, according to Thein Swe, Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population.

The remarks came from the coordination meeting of Myanmar National Committee on Child Labour Eradication held at the office of the ministry in Nay Pyi Taw on February 19.

“Child labourers can be seen in the many different workplaces,”  Thein Swe said. “To carry out this project, only a single ministry is not enough. All stakeholders should participate in this project. It should be regarded as a national duty.

“There are more than 18 million children under 18 according to the 2014 population and census. And there are more than 12 million children between the age of 5 and 17 years according to labour polls conducted in the first three months of 2017.

“Child labour accounted for five per cent, and 4.9 per cent of child labourers are working in the dangerous conditions. The child labour crisis is a crucial challenge to our country. We must try to eradicate child labourers for the bright future of the country,” Thein Swe said.

 “There are many causes for child labour. Poverty and lack of knowledge are the main factors. By just removing child labourers from wor places, won’t make them disappear. There must be public awareness about child labour.”

Thein Swe added that child labourers should be looked for and rehabilitated. “All children of school-going age must be given a free basic education. Vocational education should be given to the children when they reach working age,” Thein Swe said.

Translated by Win Htut