Keynote Address By Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling CEO of the MCIL

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National workshops on Workplan for Child Labour Alliance 8.7 Path Finder Country 29 March 2023.

Reverend Ma’auga, Secretary General of the National Council of

Churches, ILO Director of the Pacific Island Countries, Mr. Matin Karimli Esteemed representatives from our UN partners, Constituents of the Samoa National Tripartite Forum and the Child Labour Taskforce,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As highlighted in the national policy on childcare and protection; the safety, welfare and best interests of the child is paramount; this is central to our responsibility to ensure the protection of our children in all situations whether at home, in school, or in the workplace.

Following on from the Child Labour forum in November 2021 confirming Samoa’s commitment to the Alliance 8.7 initiative. We are now at the critical stage of finalizing our National Action Plan.

Child Labour is defined as work that is performed by a Child that affects their mental, physical and moral development and prevents their full participation in schooling.

This means we must address this issue at multiple levels; the family, the community, school attendance and formal and informal employment.

Furthermore, in order to achieve real progress, plans, policies and legislation must be realistic and implemented by those responsible.

To strengthen evidence for accurate planning and targeted interventions the Ministry with the ongoing support of the ILO and UNICEF conducted a follow up Rapid Assessment Survey of Child Street Vendors.

The updated findings and recommendations from this report will inform our National Action Plan under the Alliance 8.7. Hence, why the strategic workshop today is so important.

Therefore, I encourage all our stakeholders who have been working in this space to share your expertise and experiences towards achieving a realistic and impactful National Action Plan.

Finally, I would like to convey our sincere appreciation to the International Labour Organization and UNICEF for your support provided to Samoa in its efforts to ensure labour standards continuously improve for the benefit of its people and especially the safety, health and moral development of our children in the world of work.

To conclude, I wish all our participants today a productive forum. I am confident that we will reach concrete resolutions with the ultimate objective to eliminate child labour in all its forms.

Faafetai