The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been working on the European Union (EU) funded ILO TACKLE (Tackling Child Labour through Education) Project from 2008 to 2013 and in that time, there have been numerous articles published in the Fiji Times and other media raising much needed awareness on the problems and issues of child labour.
The publication ‘Media Spotlight on Child Labour’ is a compilation of media articles put together by local journalist Margaret Wise for the EU funded ILO TACKLE project that depicts the realities that are faced by children involved in child labour or at risk and the hardships that they and their families endure.
The Fiji media is focusing greater attention and resources on the status and treatment of women and children. The publication highlights the multi-dimensional scope of child labour and the crucial role played by the media on advocacy and awareness.
Issues that are raised within the publication are those that people in vulnerable situations face on a daily basis; poverty, hardships, social injustice, destitution, drug abuse, violence, etc. and the impact that this has on pushing children into child labour. One of the most alarming issues raised and currently facing us is that of human trafficking and the publication also highlights the vulnerabilities of children to trafficking and sex work.
The EU and ILO continue to work with the Fiji government and civil society organisations to ensure that these issues remain in the forefront of our work and policies and mechanisms are developed and actioned to ensure the eradication of child labour in Fiji. However, this is not a matter that can be addressed without public support and we encourage people to be attentive to these issues and speak out against child labour.
The publication also demonstrates the need for us to be ever vigilant on issues that affect our children, especially those who are susceptible to abuse, trafficking and prostitution. The work of the various media outlets and journalists must also be commended and supported to ensure that child labour is an issue that is constantly in the media and is a matter of discussion in our societies.
The publication will be released on EU Day, 09th May, 2014 and will be available at the ILO Booth at the EU Day exhibition at the Fiji Museum from 10am.