24 March 2020
On the 12th day of Second Amyotha Hluttaw’s 15th regular session, a question about the current situation of protection for child labour was raised and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population responded to that question.
Naw Hla Hla Soe of Yangon Region Constituency 10 raised the question how the responsible governmental organizations are taking actions to protect child labour according to the Myanmar Child Rights Law 2019.
“Myanmar has signed as the member of United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1991 and the new law on the rights of the child was reenacted in 2019. And Myanmar also signed the convention on the minimum age of child-worker defined by ILO. According to what I am informed, in our country, there are 1.13 million child-workers ranging age from 5-17 years. 5% of the total child-workers, accounting for 600, 000 in numbers, are working in inadequate situations.”, said Naw Hla Hla Soe.
According to the Myanmar Child Rights Law 2019, Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population is in charge of defining the dangerous work forms and workplaces together with employer organizations and labour organizations and cooperating with relevant union ministries to provide legitimate employment opportunity for children, to dismiss the inappropriate behaviours to children, and to protect workplace safety, health and rights of child labour.
“It is mentioned in the law that the relevant ministries have the responsibility to protect the rights of the child. Therefore, it is necessary to support the number analysis of child labour in respective regions and states, analysis of the ground situation of rights and safety for child labour, the legal procedures for any violation of child rights, and to provide a safe place for children who are violated physically.”, said Naw Hla Hla Soe.
In response to the question raised, Deputy Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population, U Myint Kyaing, replied, “According to the 2018 annual labour force surveillance, in regions and states, there are total of 12.4 million children aging from 5 -17 years. The children who are not working are 11.9 million in number. Working children, who are not in labour force, are amount to 0.1 million. 0.4 million of children are in dangerous workplace. Other child labour is 0.05 million in number. Moreover, there are 13,000 children who are from the age of 14-18 years, working in shops, workplaces and factories in line with the medical registration and permission.”, said Deputy Minister U Myint Kyaing.
He continued, “Under the leadership of Vice-President U Myint Swe, Myanmar National Committee on Child Labour Eradication was formed. And, the committee is working to eradicate the child labour in worst working industry and to remedy them by forming 8 working committees and 6 visions starting from January of 2019.”
Myanmar has signed the convention of worst forms of child labour by ILO in December of 2013. Factories Act 1951 and Shops and Workplace law 2016 were amended, and the minimum age of child laobur was changed to 14 years. Myanmar National Committee on Child Labour Eradication, in cooperation with Nay Pyi Taw Council and respective committees in states and regions, is working for labour inspection on industry, shops and workplace to protect the rights of child.
Public awareness raising programs are conducted and youth training schools are established. Moreover, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is to use 10 million Kyats budget for 100 children under the title of rescue, care and settlement in 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Thaw Tar Swe Zin
Photo Credit - Amyotha Hluttaw