Tunis/Tunisia — Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Trabelsi called on Tuesday for the implementation of a national strategy to fight against child labour, in partnership with government structures, civil society and social partners.
Speaking at a workshop organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the occasion of the Global Week against Child Labour (10-17 June 2021) as part of World Day Against Child Labour, he warned against the significant increase in the number of child labourers over the last period.
Trabelsi deplored the absence of public institutions able to shelter children who have interrupted their schooling, calling for the need to fight against backward mentalities, especially in rural areas, through a series of measures in the socio-economic sector and at the legislative and awareness levels.
For his part, Chairman of the steering committee of the national strategy to fight against child labour, Nébil Ourari said that this meeting is part of the implementation of one of the chapters of the national action plan entitled "Together against child labour in Tunisia", initiated by the Ministry of Social Affairs, in collaboration with the International Labour Office (2017-2020).
He said that the implementation timeframe of this action plan, which was blocked due to the pandemic, has been extended until August 2022, adding that the US Department of Labour has decided to increase its budget from 3 million to 4 million dollars.
The national action plan includes several activities, including the completion of the legislative and procedural framework for the fight against child labour and its publication, the preparation of a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child labour (governorate of Sfax and Jendouba), the creation of a training platform in the field of the fight against child labour, and direct financial support to low-income families impacted by the pandemic, according to Ourari.