Colombo, Dec 14 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s cabinet, on Wednesday, agreed to implement a national policy to eliminate child labour in the island country.
Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilleke told a weekly media briefing here that Sri Lanka had agreed to eliminate child labour at the Global Child Labour Conference held in 2010 at the Hague, and there has been a decrease of 50 percent in use of child labour from 2008/2009 to 2015/2016 indicating the ability of eliminating child labour in Sri Lanka.
Karunathilleke added that the national policy was also essential in regaining the GSP plus trade tariffs from the European Union, which Sri Lanka lost during the previous regime.
Accordingly, a proposal made byW.D.J. Seneviratne, the Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations, to adopt and implement the national policy to eliminate child labour, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The Sri Lanka Guardian, in July reported that there were almost 100,000 child workers in Sri Lanka, with girls working mostly as domestic helpers in towns and boys doing agricultural work in the villages.Girls were mostly paid monthly while most boys were paid daily.
An employer could be fined Rs. 10,000 or six months imprisonment for employing an under-age child, the Sri Lankan Guardian quoted a senior police officer in the Women and Children Bureau.