Government calls on stakeholders to fight child labour
Kabwe, June 12, ZANIS ——– Government has challenged stakeholders in the country to evaluate their role in contributing to the fight against child labour.
Labour Deputy Minister Ronald Chitotela said in Kabwe today that government has noticed the increase in the incidences of child labour in the country hence the need for both government and stakeholders to evaluate their role in the fight against the scourge.
Mr Chitotela was speaking during the commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour held in Kabwe at the Godfrey Chitalu stadium (formerly Railway Ground) which was attended among others by school children from various schools in Kabwe.
Mr Chitotela said at the function with the theme ,’ No Child Labour in Domestic Work,’ that there was need to strive to eliminate the worst forms of child labour as they were detrimental to the well being of the children.
He said in line with the theme for this year, government has recognized the importance of education and was ensuring that children were kept away from child labour and all forms of abuse including domestic work by introducing free education.
Mr Chitotela called for commitment and the renewed urgency to tackle the worst forms of child labour by scaling up global national and local effort by making action against all forms of child labour an integral part of poverty reduction, social protection and education
“My government through the able leadership of President Michael Sata has exhibited political commitment to tackle child labour, with social partners and civil society organizations,’ he said.
The deputy minister also said government was concerned with high child labour incidences in Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, North-Western and Southern Provinces where early marriages, farm work, fishing, quarry mining, stone crushing, cattle herding and domestic work were prevalent.
Speaking at the same occasion on behalf of children, a grade eleven at Steven Luwisha school Grace Mayanga, called on government to ensure children were protected from all forms of child labour by enforcing the existing legislations and relevant policies that will protect them.
Mayanga pleaded with government to urgently address the problem of child labour and take care of the children as they were the future leaders adding that as children, they were not supposed to be expected to work for money to feed families as this could only be done by
She said this year’s theme came at the right time as it was an opportunity for promoting children’s rights to education as well as securing adult rights to employment adding that it would not work to just talk about the theme but to ensure it was put to practice for the
elimination of child labour.
She said like any other crime, child labour should be a criminal offence punishable by law so that those found wanting could be treated as criminals and be jailed to deter others.
Mayanga also called for continuous sensitization process throughout the country so that under privileged children in communities who were being abused in the name of working as domestic workers, are aware that what they were doing was wrong and should be reported to
relevant authorities for action.
She further appealed to extended families to get back to the roots and begin to take care of the orphans and vulnerable children who did not have any means of support.