posted on 4:25 PM, November 4, 2010
The Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC (ANHBC) is now a Regional Partner with "First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition", part of a growing movement that seeks to ensure that the needs of children and youth are given priority in legislation, policy and practice.
First Call partners are provincial and regional organizations and local coalitions that commit to working on the
4 Keys to Success for Children and Youth within their organization and to working collectively with others in the First Call coalition on child and youth issues.
As a unit of ANHBC and a member of the British Columbia Camping Association, Sasamat Outdoor Centre has long been an advocate for the needs and protection of children and youth. Our outdoor education programs, Leadership programs, and summer camps for children, youth and families, foster the self-confidence, skills and knowledge that young people need to help them make sound choices in the community and in the workplace.
Unfortunately, the needs of children apparently do not come first with everyone. In it's report "What's Happening to Our Children - A Look at Child Work-Related Injury Claims in BC Over the Past 10 Years", First Call states that in 2003 the Government of BC amended the Employment Standards Act, eliminating the requirement for employers to obtain a permit to employ children between the ages of 12 an 14, and removed the role of the Employment Standards Branch in determining the suitability of a work place for a child in that age group.
First Call also states that since the new law came into effect in 2004, BC is the only province that does not place legislative or regulatory restrictions on the occupations, tasks, or time of day a child can work and cites WorkSafe BC data that reveals that "the number of accepted work-related injury claims for children between the ages of 12 and 14 has been steadily climbing" since the change in legislation.
First Call has also launched a website to draw attention to the BC government's child labour laws, www.nochildlabour.org.
If a young person in your family is in the work force, or thinking of taking a job, be aware and be proactive. Make sure that you and your child are aware of the laws and of the working conditions your child will face. KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO to an employer or a job.
For more facts on child labour around the world go to Free the Children.