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Apr 12, 2018

School Kids Must Be Protected says U.S.

Deborah Lingwood

The Department of Labour’s 2017 report on the worst forms of child labour found that Belize has made strides in preventing child labour through such programs as the BOOST conditional cash transfer program that rewards families for keeping children in school and immunized, as well introducing legislation. Representing her American counterparts, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Deborah Lingwood, emphasized the need for children to be in school and not having to work for a living before their time.

 

Deborah Lingwood, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy

“The key thing for us is that first of all children need to stay in school. We are not saying that children should not be learning the industry – that if their parents are farmers and they expect to be farmers, then doing light work is fine. But they need to do that light work after school and during school breaks. And secondly, children, especially those in the agriculture sector, should not be working on heavy equipment that can present a danger to themselves; they should not be exposed to dangerous chemicals that might be used in pesticides or in fertilizers. So we want to work with the Government of Belize as well as the individual sectors to find ways so that children can learn the trade but in a safe environment as well as in an environment in which they can stay in school.”

 

The project lasts four years and other regional countries involved include Jamaica and Honduras.

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