The government has reaffirmed its resolve to end all forms of child labour by strengthening social protection programmes in the country.
Acting Minister of Labour and Social Security Peter Kapala said to this effect, government working with key stakeholders has made progress in reforming many social security programmes, allowing for partial withdrawal of pension by workers.
Mr. Kapala explained that government has also realised that a strengthened social protection system is important for workers, as it helps them to invest and create wealth for themselves, hence providing for their families.
He observed that many children engage in forms of child labour, due to poverty as their parents cannot effectively provide for them.
“Research has shown that poverty is the number one risk for child labour as most families are unable to provide the necessary support to their children to attend school, as result children become contributors towards family income, by engaging in economic activities which hinder their development,” he said.
Mr. Kapala said this in a speech read for him by Ministry of Labour Acting Permanent Secretary Zachariah Luhanga during the 2022 commemoration of the World Day against Child Labour in Lusaka yesterday.
International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Director George Okutho has hailed Zambia for strives that have been recorded towards ending child labour in the country.
Mr. Okutho explained that Zambia has so far proved to be on the right track, in addressing issues that affect and violate the rights of children.
He cited the provision of free education policy from grade 1 to 12 as one of the most effective ways of upholding and protecting the rights of children.
He said this is because universally it is believed that children that have access to education have a potential to break the cycle of poverty and can make significant contributions to the economic development of the country.
“Despite the prevalence rate of child labour increasing globally, we are happy to note that Zambia has shown positive steps to end vices of child labour, one of them being the free education policy from grade 1 to 12”, he said.
The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for global responses to effectively eliminate child labour.
ZCTU Trustee Tisa Chiponda said there is need for the government and other stakeholders to strengthen all systems aimed at protecting the violation of rights of children in the country, in order to create a conducive environment for children.
“With child labour crossing international borders and occurring in all sections of society, a concerted approach by multiple partners at all levels is needed to effectively tackle the problem of child labour”, said Ms. Chiponda.
Earlier Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) vice president for midlands Kennedy Njamba expressed concern with statistic indicating that about 78 percent of the total population of children in Zambia do not have access to education.
Mr. Njamba noted that this is why there is need for all stakeholders to collaborate and scale up efforts to end all forms child labour that affect and prevent children from accessing education services.
This year’s World Day against Child Labour was commemorated under theme” increasing social protection to end child labour”.
Am not seeing moments what has happened
To serve in the union,let the labour unions make it a voluntary work.
In the past, parents and communities groomed young children into responsible citizens right when they graduate from crawling to walking.The children learnt a lot of skills,manners and good working habits from childhood.If the children are not taught early from childhood to work,what will become of them when they grow up…………………..probably they would end up on the streets.
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