Govt Warns Sectors Against Child Labour

Government has warned that it will not tolerate any forms of child labour in all sectors that contribute to the country’s economy.

Minister responsible for gender, social welfare and community development Patricia Kaliati issued the warning on Saturday at a commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour in Thyolo held by the Tea Association of Malawi (TAML).

Kaliati while commending the tea sector for eradicating the vice, said, government will not tolerate any form of child labour in all the sectors since it sends a back picture to the world.

"We are calling all parents, all companies be it tobacco association or tea growers, farmers not to employ children in their estates and this is what we are agreeing today," she said.

(TAML) Board chairperson Sangwani Hara admitted that in the past there were some pockets of child labour incidences especially in smallholder sub-sector where farmers were reportedly using their children.

However, Hara reported that currently the industry is free from the vice, saying they engaged the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which scanned and cleared the industry of any concerns.

"I did mention that at the moment there is zero child labour tolerance in the sector. Actually, we called in an independent institution International Labour Organisation, very reputable, we said scan the industry and tell us what you see or hear. So when they scanned it, they said indeed there is no malpractice," Hara said.

He indicated that this has been achieved through child labour prohibited policy, continued sensitisations, reporting mechanisms and joint monitoring, especially in smallholder tea sub-sector.

A learner at Mpinji Primary School Felicia Khoromana implored others perpetrating the vice "to stop".

The event was held under the theme: 'Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour'.

Currently, child labour prevalence rate stands at 17 percent in Thyolo with agriculture being the biggest contributor.

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