Child Labour Worries Children in Machinga
Children in Machinga have expressed concern with increased child labour in rice fields in the district.
13 year-old Bashir William who is also the district’s child parliament speaker, says the malpractice is rampant in the areas along Lake Chilwa, where children are forced to work in the fields by their parents, a thing which he fears will affect attainment of the country’s developmental blue print Malawi 2063.
"Due to the presence of rice farms in the district, the tendency of some parents forcing their children to partake in rice farming, during or on school holidays, is on the rise. This will simply affect developments in the country, as you know that in 2063 most children will have to be responsible citizens of the country," William lamented.
William, who on Thursday was guest of honour at the district’s commemorations of Day of African Child at Wataka Primary School, asked the government to start issuing stiffer punishments to perpetrators of the vice.
"I urge government to start punishing these irresponsible parents using the laws of the land for the vice to be dealt with," he added.
Machinga district director of education, youth and sports, Joseph Chiwoza says has committed to engage responsible offices in the district to deal with the malpractice.
"We have a lot of organizations in the district whom we will mobilize together with the office of gender and the social welfare office to counter the challenges which children have bemoaned," Chiwoza said.
"It is high time we take action against child labor by among others reporting such cases," he added.
Senior chief Mlomba of the area has vowed to take to task all chiefs who are fueling the vice.
The district day of African child commemorations event follows a national launch in Balaka in June this year that was under the theme: protecting the rights of the child in the digital environment.
At the event children in Machinga asked parents to monitor how their children are utilizing the mobile gadgets, in an effort to protect them from being exposed to things that would affect their education and mentality like pornography.