Ximenes told Independente ministers had discussed the National Action Plan Against Child Labour designed to stop putting the country’ youth at risk with relevant institutions and members of the justice sector during a two-day workshop in Dili on 7-8 July .
“The state has a moral obligation to protect our children from being asked to work,” Noe said.
Parents encouraging their young children to work and send money home to support families pay off debts is one of the biggest barriers to protecting Timorese children from child labor, said Noe.
“All children have a right to education,” he said.
Noe said the government would use input from the workshop to establish a child labor law that was “acceptable to all relevant institutions.”
Almost 20 per cent of Timorese children aged 10-14 have been involved in work, in particular agriculture, according to data published by UNESCO.
The National Action Plan Against Child Labor, which aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in Timor-Leste by 2025 and all forms of child labor by 2030, was first finalised in 2016, according to International Labor Organisation 2019 report.
The Council of Ministers have yet to approve it.