The Jakarta Post
As many as 2,280 child workers from 15 regencies/municipalities in West Java have been removed from their work places and sent back to schools through the Family Empowerment Program (PPA-PKH).
'There should be no more business activity that involves child workers. Once more, we call on and will monitor business players to not use child workers anymore,' said Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
He said any companies found to have such violations would face sanctions.
The child workers removed from their jobs are being accommodated in a shelter where they will receive counseling for four months. A monthly stipend of Rp 250,000 (US$25.5) will be provided for each child during the counseling period.
Under the PPA-PKH, the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, it is expected that 11,000 child workers in 89 regencies/municipalities in 21 provinces could be taken out from work places in 2013.
The program is targeting child workers from poor households, aged between 7 to 15 years, who have dropped out from schools.
Muhaimin said the government was committed to achieve 'Indonesia free from child laborers' by 2020.
Owners of education institutions and private companies would be involved in the PPA-PKH program to resolve the limits of budget, he added.
'With available budgetary allocations, we could only return 14,000 child workers to schools. But with support from the private sector, education institutions and local administrations, insya Allah (God willing) at least 500,000 (child workers) could be withdrawn (from work places) annually,' said Muhaimin.
Since 2008, the ministry has returned 32,663 child workers to schools. (hrl/ebf)
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