Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago - November 19, 2019
Brazil Secondary School (BSS) students who have been participating in the ‘WE’ and ‘Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Programme’ (GLOBE) Programmes of the School continue to engage in activities that place their school on the map, both locally and internationally. In June of this year, these students staged a series of Child Labour Awareness activities as part of their social change project of the WE Programme in commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour which is recognised annually on June 12. The students focused on several non-conventional intiatives to showcase the theme and this captured the interest of the staff of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development. The Ministry has under its remit, the responsibility for the prevention and elimination of child labour.
On Wednesday November 13, 2019, exactly one (1) week before World Children’s Day, Senator the Honourable Jennifer Baptiste Primus, Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, with a contingent of Ministry officials and members from the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour paid a visit to Brazil Secondary School to personally recognize and honour the efforts of the students, while sharing more information on the topic of child labour.
This school visit also marked the launch of the Edu-Sensitization Series on Child Labour coordinated by the Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate and Corporate Communications Unit, where officials will visit Primary and Secondary Schools to bring awareness to students, teachers and administrative staff on child labour; how to ‘Spot it, Stop it, and Report it’.
Ministry officials were greeted with a warm welcome from the Acting Principal of the School, Mr. Curtis Thomas and the student body. Both were elated that the Minister selected their school to visit. The Minister in her address to the student body and school officials present, commended the efforts of the ‘WE’ students noting that they fully understood the concept of child labour by their accurate representation. She added: “Your energy and passion is truly refreshing and you give us, the adults of today, the assurance that with the future left up to young persons like you, the future is in good hands’.
It gives me great pride to see our nation’s youth join in a global movement for positive change. Certainly you would have seen that as one school, you may be small but as a key piece of the bigger picture unfolding around the world, you, the youth of today, are unstoppable.
The Minister also congratulated the students on the various accolades achieved within the ‘WE’ and ‘GLOBE’ projects and reiterated hat “the work that you are doing in these initiatives will have an impact for many years to come. You may not know the impact of your efforts now, but do know that your work will have a long lasting impact for decades. Minister Baptiste Primus closed her address with these words of encouragement to the students: “I say to you, Brazil Secondary School: continue to shine, continue to thrive, continue to excel.”
The afternoon saw the students being entertained with a child labour play performed by the Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate Unit and presentation by Aaron George, Outreach Officer of Childline. This was followed by interactive trivia segments, which ignited the interactions with students. Thereafter, the Minister witnessed first-hand the diverse talents of the students via live flashmob, drumming performances and graphic showcases from their child labour awareness project, all co-ordinated by their science teachers Ms. Roshini Madoo and Mr. Khameel Mohammed Ali.
The Ministry through its Labour Inspectorate Unit and the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour continue to collaborate and work towards ensuring that no child below the age of 16 is working and children enjoy their rights to an education and their childhood – thereby eradicating child labour in Trinidad and Tobago. Reports on suspected cases on child labour can be made to the Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate Unit at 299-0300 option 3 or 285-5133.
Should you require further information on this or other initiatives of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development contact the:
Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development
Tel: 625-8478 ext 1211, 1208 or 1212