Press Release

Supporting efforts in Fiji to return children back to school safely

ILO in partnership with the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Fiji Trade Union Congress and Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations are working together to support continued coordinated efforts in Fiji to see that every child returns to school.

Press release | Suva, Fiji | 25 January 2022
Director ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries handsover school supplies to Dr. Angela Jokhan, Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and Arts.
Suva (ILO News) - COVID-19 has brought additional poverty and may reverse years of progress in the fight against child labour. School closures have aggravated the situation and children are working to contribute to the family income.

The ILO and the MAP16 project have identified Qauia Settlement in Lami, outside of Suva as a targeted location to be supported with school stationery and a hygiene kit. Qauia is one of Fiji’s biggest informal settlements. The school packs and hygiene kits will be given to the preschool to Year 8 children of Qauia settlement. The Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage & Arts, Dr. Angela Jokhan received the school supplies and hygiene safety kit from the ILO and the MAP16 (USDOL Funded Project).

The latest global child labour estimates released in June 2021, warn nine million additional children at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also 2021 was declared the International Year for the Elimination of Child labour and commitments accelerated done prior to 2021 must continue at all levels of society nationally and globally beyond 2021.

The fight against child labour requires strong partnerships at global, regional, national and community level. It requires collaboration between Government, Workers and Employers Organisations, Civil Society organisations, families, and international organisations.

Director ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, Mr. Matin Karimli said “we must not lose ground and continue to work collaboratively in this global fight to end child labour and all its forms as it is all our responsibility.” ILO acknowledges the on-going support and commitment from the Fijian Government to raise awareness on Child Labour throughout Fiji.

This initiative is implemented with support of US Department of Labour funded MAP16 project. The MAP16 project: Measurement, Awareness-Raising and Policy Engagement to Accelerate Action Against Child Labour and Forced Labour.

The project contributes to the promotion of decent work in Fiji by contributing to the elimination of child labour and worst forms of child labour with support from the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations, Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation and Fiji Trade & Union Congress. The project further aims to assist Fiji in its capacity as a Pathfinder country and to contribute to achieving SDG 8.7.