Authorities in Chifunabuli District in Luapula Province are concerned at the high numbers of Child Labour cases being reported in the District.
Chifunabuli District Labour Officer Moses Kazaka says it is sad that cases of child Labour have continued being recorded especially in the mining industry.
Speaking to ZANIS in interview in Chifunabuli today, Mr Kazaka revealed that with the coming in of mines in the district, Chifunabuli has recorded an increase in child labour cases resulting in them dropping out of school to go into mining.
“It is quiet saddening that as a district, we are facing a lot of cases of child labour especially were mines are concerned and most children are now being forced to drop out of school and are taken into mining at the expense of securing their future,” he revealed.
Mr. Kazaka revealed that children in the district are being subjected to the worst forms of child labour including sexual exploitation as a lot of girls are being subjected to early child marriages, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
“The situation is alarming, children in the district are being subjected to the worst forms of child labour including sexual exploitation as a lot of girls are being subjected to early child marriages, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections,” he explained.
He said while the Government is trying to curb the vice, parents on the other hand are not being cooperative as they are in the forefront of exploiting their own children.
“Government is trying to curb the vice but with the high poverty levels being faced in the district, parents themselves are not being cooperative as they are in the forefront of exploiting their own children with hopes of gaining a livelihood,” he said.
Mr. Kazaka explained that while parents go mining, they carry their children with them instead of going to school.
“Chifunabuli is the second poorest district in Zambia, and most families cannot afford to eat even two meals in a day, and while parents go mining, they carry their children with them and despite the introduction of free education by Government, some parents and children prefer to go mining to earn a living as they cannot even afford to buy school uniforms and books,” he said.
He observed that the Government still has a huge task to do in the district to help contain the situation.
Chifunabuli is among the districts in Luapula province with Manganese mines where children have continued to be used in mining.