Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Minister John Phiri has disclosed that government has introduced measures that are aimed at addressing child labour in the country.
Dr. Phiri said to a large extent, child labour impedes children’s opportunity to go to school.
He said child labour further undermines efforts made towards the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) on health and education.
He however said it was the desire of government that every child gets into school by the year 2015.
Dr. Phiri said this in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy Minister David Mabumba at the launch of the Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (ARISE) programme in Lusaka today.
The programme is being implemented in partnership with the Japan Tobacco International (JTI), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and WINROCK International (WI).
It will be implemented in Kaoma district in Western province for a period of three years.
He also stated that child labour and education were closely linked adding that government was keen to providing free education from grade one (1) to 12 in the country.
He cited the implementation of the national child policy and the ratification of ILO conventions 138 and 182 on minimum age of employment and worst forms of child labour as some of the steps government had taken to address the scourge.
And International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director Martin Clemenson observed that agriculture was a sector where most child workers were found and were exposed to hazardous work.
Mr. Clemenson said ILO, through its International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), was aiming at the progressive elimination of child labour worldwide.
He said there was need to move beyond traditional methods of doing things.
He has since pledged to continue supporting government at national and district level in eliminating child labour.
Speaking earlier, Child Labour Manager in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Venus Seti said government will continue raising awareness on the effects of child labour.
Dr. Seti said for this reason, Zambia will continue to commemorate the world day against child labour.
This year, the theme for world day against child labour is “No child labour in domestic work”.