During the 5th Global Conference on Child labour in Durban, inadequate education and skills development was a topic of significant discussion.
Thirty-five million children in child labour are between the ages of 15 and 17, and while they may have reached the legal minimum age to work, their right to safe and decent work is not respected. Children in child labour work in hazardous employment conditions which pose safety and health concerns.
Speakers on the panel spoke on hopes for sustainable change in child labour. Where Employer’s advancement means fair labour practices, labour laws take place. And that Informal economies be aware of what constitutes child labour. Speakers put forward the perspective of vocational training and decent work for the youth.
Ana Maria Villa Real Ferreira Ramos, a Labour prosecutor of labour Prosecution services, spoke of the Brazilian efforts to promote vocational training through subsidised efforts and incentives given to children who take vocational training courses.
Jacqueline Mugo, Executive Director & CEO, Federation of Kenya Employers, Secretary-General BUSINESS Africa Employers Confederation and IOE Vice President for Africa spoke of soft skills development.
“Governments and the public sector need to do better in terms of policies and policy implementation to ensure that the skills and knowledge– technical and soft skills- are being passed onto the youth are relevant to industry needs. Young people are coming out of learning institutions and with inadequate skills development. “she stated.
Commenting on the girl child discussion, Mugo stated, “girls are still very shy at taking certain subjects, the sciences, maths we need to persuade more girls to go into those subjects and ensure that girls get into school despite the cultural barriers on the continent.”
The conversation on the “girl child” and focuses on female youth development was a pivotal talking point throughout the discussion on child labour. They are developing adequate skill training and opportunities for the girl children.
In a plea to corporations, Alicia Tauro, Project Lead, YUVA & Campaign convener, Campaign against Child Labour, India. Urged corporations “to promote the needs of citizens and young children over corporations young people want to have a say about their present and future.”