|Banishing the ghost of child labour|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 12:36|
Fifteen-year-old Charles Matake of Epworth struggles to out of his threadbare blankets which he shares with two of his younger siblings.
With the cold weather setting in, waking up at 4am will increasingly not be any easy, but he and his 14-year-old sister know they have to keep the routine of getting into town early and start the business of collecting plastic bottles for sale to recycling companies.
Meanwhile, the other two younger siblings will join the trek into town later to beg for money and food.
This year’s theme was “Ending child labour as a matter of human rights and social justice. Step up the fight; do not relent”.
It comes against the backdrop of the 2010 adoption of the “Roadmap for achieving the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016”, which stressed that child labour is an impediment to children’s rights and a barrier to development.
As the trampling of children’s rights is anathema, the International Labour Organisation commended Zimbabwe for its strong commitment to urgently and progressively reduce incidences of child labour, protect working children and to work toward the immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
development agenda. With regard to child labour, there is a strong commitment among key stakeholders in Zimbabwe to urgently and progressively reduce
incidences of child labour, protect working children and to work towards the immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour, as defined in the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No.182), 1999, ratified by Zimbabwe on 11 December 2000.”
The ILO said together with other international instruments relating to children, workers and human rights they provide an important framework for legislation, policies and actions against child labour.
the different worst forms of child labour that exist in Zimbabwe.
The survey revealed that the worst forms of child labour do exist in Zimbabwe as evidenced by the participation of children in prostitution, mining, agriculture, hazardous domestic work and illicit activities.
Effective education and training policies, the ILO said, backed by social protection measures can produce significant increases in school enrolment and a decline in child labour.
“Decent work for parents and education for children are indispensable elements of strategies for the elimination of child labour. “Decent work for parents means that children are less likely to fall victim to child labour. And better enforcement of national laws, including strengthening child labour inspection and monitoring, enhancing victim assistance and improving prevention strategies are critical to success,” ILO the said.
Zimbabwe undertook a commitment in the protection of working children and ultimately elimination of the worst forms of child labour as early as 1994.
According to the 2004 Labour Force Survey, the total number of children in Zimbabwe was found to be slightly more than five million of the total population.
Zimbabwe has ratified all key international and regional instruments, which relate to the welfare and rights of children. These include the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), and the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 199 (No. 182).
However, the Act prohibits employment of any person less than 18 years of age for work that is likely to compromise the person’s safety, health and morals.
“On this World Day with will and solidarity let us renew our efforts, stay the course, and reach the goal,” the ILO said.
yet unratified conventions and we call on all to respect the principles and rights embodied in these conventions,” the ILO said.
According to the ILO the worldwide mobilisation against child labour is paying off with important progress achieved over the past decade.
Conventions on child labour are among the most widely ratified of all ILO conventions.
The ILO says worldwide mobilisation against child labour was paying off with important progress achieved over the past decade. However, the road to full eradication is long and challenging.
The reality the ILO said remains extremely worrying with 215 million children are still trapped in child labour, 115 million of them in the worst forms.
The ILO said while much more needs to be done, countries should improve law and practice including establishment of national plans to tackle child labour, new legislative prohibitions that aim identify and prevent hazardous work by children, more legislation being adopted against child prostitution and child pornography and a marked increase in international co-operation and mutual assistance among member states, particularly on issues concerning trafficking.