Eradication of Child Labor
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Two delegates from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare of Guatemala visited the premises of the Ministry of Labor Relations (MRL) of Ecuador with the aim of learning from their experience as a country free of child labor in landfills, and of learning about strategic partnerships that the MRL promotes with the private sector in that area.
During the visit, the Guatemalan delegates took the opportunity to participate in a meeting with the technical group of the Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor of the Province of Pichincha, lead by the MRL, which is charged with defining a baseline for actions and commitments for the actors involved. Furthermore, they learned about the Protocol for Prevention and Eradication used by the MRL in relation to landfills, and also learned about the compliance process and management model of the Business Network for an Ecuador Free of Child Labor.
Among the main lessons learned, the delegates highlighted the importance of creating a baseline and fixed assignation of economic and technical resources for developing projects, relying on a protocol to guarantee the effective withdrawal of children from work in landfills and identifying procedures for following up on each individual case, relying on public-private partnerships for developing actions toward eradicating child labor, and the importance of involving municipal authorities in complying with the legal regulations in force related to the issue, because they are also responsible for implementing policies and programs benefiting children.
In the words of the Guatemalan delegates, the exchange was productive and enriching for approaching the problem of child labor and allowed for future steps to be planned. Among these were highlighted: the dissemination of Ecuadorian inter-institutional actions among officials of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the development of meetings with municipal authorities to bring up the problem, strengthening the business base that is already established, and creating strategic partnerships with universities and NGOs that include programs directed at youth and adolescents.