Education should be given to all children in order to stop child labour.

Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said that despite facing a severe economic crisis, Sri Lanka’s reduction of the number of child laborers to 1% is a remarkable achievement.

He emphasized that it is a collective achievement of the officials of all the responsible institutions including the Child Protection Authority that Sri Lanka has maintained the number of child laborers at 1% level in the midst of many crises in the world where there are millions of child laborers.

The minister said that despite the economic problems, apart from school uniforms, textbooks and shoes, the government provided lunch for the primary grade children, thereby encouraging parents to send their children to school. He mentioned that the origin of child labour is the breakdown of school education, and children who do not go to school turn to other activities, therefore, it is the government’s aim to provide education to all children of school age.

“Out of the total number of 5.4 million families in the country, 1.6 million families are being given the relief subsidy, and Government hopes to increase it to 2.4 million families in the future. Also, rice is given to low income earners. The aim of all these things is to provide some economic support to the poorest sections of the society. All this helped to keep the number of child labor at 1%. But as a government, we are not happy with that number. Because we want to make Sri Lanka a country free from child labour. The government considers the safety of children as very important. Parental protection is very important for a child. Children especially need mother’s care,” the minister added.

The minister said this while addressing an event held at the Labour Department in Narahenpita on International Anti-Child Labor Day.

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