Ministry of Labour commemorates Child Labour Campaign closing cermemony

Saturday, November 25th, 2023


On November 23rd, 2023, the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour, and Local Government commemorated its Child Labour Campaign Closing Ceremony at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel, River Hall Room, Belize City, under the theme, “Eliminating Child Labour in Belize!”
The ceremony is a culmination of a month-long awareness campaign carried out with nineteen high schools across the country. The campaign reached one thousand, seven hundred fifty (1,750) students about the dangers of child labour while also informing them about their rights as children. This initiative is one of the actions articulated in Belize’s National Child Labour Policy and Strategy 2022-2025, which was launched last year. The campaign closing ceremony serves as a reminder of the importance of ending child labour and establishing a better future for the children of Belize.
The occasion underscored the commitment of the Ministry of Labour to maintain its efforts to promote child welfare and development. Hon. Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour, reiterated the Government of Belize’s commitment to working with communities, schools, and other stakeholders to establish a society where all children are free from exploitation.
A key feature of the event included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Labour, the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA), and the Citrus Growers Association (CGA). The MOU commits both the Ministry and the Associations to collectively address child labour issues such as conducting inspections, education and sensitization activities, promotional events and other activities addressing the issue of child labour.
During the event, winners of the campaign’s school poster competition received prizes for their creativity in raising awareness under the theme: “Eliminating Child Labour in Belize.” Valentino Vernon Jr of Toledo Community College won first place, followed by the second-place winner, Crissy Isabella Avilez of Sacred Heart High School. The third-place winners were Edwin and James Mena of Ladyville Technical High School.

The Ministry also recognized the students of the Alvin L. Young Nazarene High School for producing an animated video depicting the issue of child labour, the worst forms of child labour and their impact on children.
Present also at the ceremony were: Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Minister of State in the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government; Mr. Valentino Shal, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry; Mrs. Tanya Santos-Neal, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs; Ms. Alison Parker, UNICEF Representative for Belize and Guest Speaker at today’s ceremony; Mrs. Rissela Dominguez-Patt, Labour Commissioner; Mrs. Francine Augustine, Executive Director of the National Committee For Families and Children (NCFC), Ms. Ressel Melville, Programme Officer, Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean, Free of Child Labour, International Labour Organization (ILO) Caribbean Office; Ms. Brittney Galvez, Program Coordinator for Special Envoy Office, members of the Corozal Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Citrus Growers Association, and teachers and students from the Toledo Community College, Sacred Heart High School and Ladyville Technical High School.


 

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