Child labour

Syrian inspectors equipped with new tools to combat hazardous child labour

Child labour has spiked during the tragic conflict in Syria, in response the ILO and UNICEF are supporting government partners to prioritise children’s safety.

News | 29 July 2021
DAMASCUS (ILO News) — Syrian labour inspectors, workers' representatives, and employers' representatives have received valuable skills for combatting hazardous child labour, according to Deputy Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Dr. Rakan al-Ibrahim, speaking at the end of a two-day workshop held by the ILO and UNICEF on 28 and 29 July, 2021.

The workshop was one of a series held by the ILO to support Syrian labour inspectors, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MOSAL), and employers, in acting against and monitoring child labour –especially hazardous child labour. Thirty-seven participants learned about the use of inspection tools to address child labour, international labour standards and national legislation, the role of inspectors in combating child labour, and inspection as a tool against the worst forms of child labour, and in collecting data.

Inspectors also learnt more about their role in informing employers and workers, including advice on how to eliminate hazardous child labour through use of legal enforcement powers to ensure the protection of children from any physical harm in the workplace. During the workshop, the Director of Social Affairs and Labour for Greater Damascus, Mr. Hussam al-Din Sawan, gave a presentation on the reality of child labour in Syria, and Damascus and Rural Chambers of Industry representative Mr. Obi Roshan addressed the rights and duties of workers and employers.

Mr Roshan presented a role-play of a labour inspector's intervention in cases of the worst forms of child labour, and a checklist for labour inspectors’ interventions. Representative of the General Federation of Trade Unions, Mr. Adnan Azzouz, gave a presentation on the effective use of inspection in general at the Federation, and in particular to address child labour. The workshop also reviewed and updated inspection tools to address child labour, and to promote Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, in accordance with ILO Convention 190 Concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.

Deputy Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Dr. Rakan al-Ibrahim, spoke on the value of the workshop in exploring the status of child labour and national legislation’s compliance with international labour agreements; the identification of needs and priorities to be included in the national plan to combat child labour; the challenges facing labour inspectors; and the role of partnerships in combating child labour.

The deputy minister thanked the ILO and UNICEF for their technical support to Syria, and its continuous support for the Syrian people given the noticeable spread of child labour during the unfortunate war in the country, stating that the eradication of child labour is one of Syria’s priorities.

The workshop was part of the ILO project entitled Adopting a Multi-sectoral Approach to Fighting Child Labour & Addressing Multiple Vulnerabilities in two Governorates in Syria which works to combat child labour in Syria through rehabilitation assistance for children, particularly those involved in the Worst Forms of Child Labour.