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Consultation on the Impact of Child Labour in the Belize Sugar Industry Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:00

On Monday April 10, the Government of Belize and the European Union set out on a partnership to find out just how much a part of the sugar industry child labour is. Their goal is to collect statistics on the issue which will be used to ensure that Belize is operating within the child labour policies of the Fair Trade International’s policy.

According to Diana Shaw of the Child Development Fund, incidents regarding child labour will be studied especially in the sugarcane producing areas of Belize in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts. The country needs to be able to report to Fair Trade International and other partners that steps are being taken to eliminate child labour and prove that international sugar is being produced in a way that is not harmful to children.

According to Shaw, all this is in order to continue to export our sugar to Europe and other places without the preferential quota and to eliminate the possibility of violations being imposed for sugar exportation. It is the Child Development Foundation’s expectation to receive recommendations from farmers and technical experts to eliminate child labour.

The initiative is a crucial one for Belize’s sugar industry as Belize will lose preferential quotas into the European market this year. The sole European support mechanism for Belize’s sugar industry then will be the Fair Trade arrangements.