Child Labor – Prevention and removal of children in crop and coffee harvest
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From August 27 to 31, 2018, three officials of the Social Security Directorate of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (STSS) of Honduras, visited the Ministry of Labor of Colombia to exchange experiences and acquire knowledge regarding the eradication of child labor, specifically in the coffee sector.
During the study trip, concrete initiatives to prevent and eradicate child labor were analyzed, such as those developed within the Colombian National Family Wellfare System, “Amar” Centers; the Interinstitutional Committee for the Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of the Working Minor, and the Colombia Network Against Child Labor; as well as information systems to obtain better data and statistics regarding Child Labor.
The last two days, the Honduran delegation traveled to the city of Manizales, in the department of Caldas, to get to know, in practice, the actions that are applied in Colombia to eradicate Child Labor. Through the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, STSS officials visited the Vereda la Paz and Esperanza farms, which stand out for not hiring minors, as well as the Escuela Nueva (“New School”), specifically created to improve schooling levels among the families of coffee farmers.
Among their learnings, STSS officials highlighted the institutional coordination that exists between different agencies in Colombia to eradicate Child Labor, not only at the national level, but also at the local level through governors and mayors. They also considered as a great result having known the design of information systems to obtain data related to Child Labor, as well as the way of operating the Escuela Nueva in Manizales, whose scheme they wish to replicate in their country.