WiLDAF commends police service in Chadiza District for curbing child labour

child Labour - Source NYTIMES
Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Chadiza Chapter have commended the police command and the subordinate court in Chadiza District for their  tireless efforts in curbing child labour..

WiLDAF programmes coordinator Kawanga Poniso said the named parties were correctly applying justice in curbing the crime in the area.

He said this is according to the provisions of the employment of young persons and children Act section 4,chapter 274 of the laws of Zambia.

 Mr. Poniso was speaking in line with the judgement and ruling passed in the child labour case where an employer and the father to the child who was employed were jointly charged and convicted.

  “People may also wish to know that article 24 of the Zambian constitution protects young persons from exploitation and that the law is clear”. He said.

He said the police should also be commended for making sure that cases dealing with child labour were not withdrawn despite the pressure from the community who demanded that the case be withdrawn as it was against the Chewa tradition which allowed for young people to be herding cattle.

 Mr. Poniso said it was saddening that child labour was a very common place occurrence in Chadiza depending on the cultural and geographical location of the area.

“We want to note that while there are many physical dangers related to child labour, the psychological effects are perhaps an even bigger problem that must be examined with young people”. He said.

 The programmes officer said that one of the problematic aspects of child labour was that it interrupts a child’s education and cognitive development.

 He pointed out that there were a number of children working in full time employment in Chadiza with some herding cattle while others were employed as full time farm labourers.

 Mr. Poniso said that children who do not attend school had a trend that prevents them from developing necessary cognitive skills.

 He said in some instance children who work part time while studying generally perform lower than those children who devote themselves fully to their education.

 “While social class and effectiveness of the child’s educational system must be taken into consideration, the effects of child labour turn out to be more pervasive when one considers the negative feedback loop that this practice instigates begins”. He said.

 He said children who spend more than 20 hours per week working, are at the risk of developing problematic social behavior like drug abuse and aggression and that the risk also impacts their educational development as they are more likely to perform poorly in school and drop out of the little education that they are privy to.

 “Children need to build personal positive relationships in order to thrive and feel confident, spending long hours at work even part time prevents the children from properly developing these relationships, leading to insecure adults who are also at risk for other emotional problems”.