Authorities in Dowa hopes the integration of child labour in all sectors of the district will reduce child labour cases.
Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development with support from Winrock International is in the process of developing the Child Labour Mainstreaming guide for child labour elimination efforts in the country.
The ministry is first conducting consultation meetings with different government departments and private institutions that work at national and district level to collect information for the guide.
Speaking during a meeting of child labour mainstreaming and integration for Dowa District Council heads of sectors held at the boma, Dowa district Assistant Labour Officer Joseph Kachigama expressed hope that mainstreaming child labour in all government sectors will be a breakthrough in dealing with child labour which is common in Dowa due to the increase of tobacco estates in Dowa West.
On his part, Principal Labour Officer in the Ministry of Labour Francis Kwenda said his ministry is in the process of integrating issues and concerns in the development agenda in order to address its effects on the society.
“The exercise will be conducted in the four districts of Lilongwe, Dowa, Ntchisi and Nkhotakota making child labour related interventions to be part and parcel of the program and projects activities being implemented by different institutions,” Kwenda said.
He added that mainstreaming and integration are very important aspects for addressing child labour problems in the society as evidenced by HIV and AIDS which has been mainstreamed in most work plans and policies.
“Child labour mainstreaming has some importance such as improving the knowledge base for promoting policy integration, creating ownership of the child labour issues at the community level and increased awareness at all levels and on a range of related issues among others,” he said.
In his remarks, Dowa District Council Acting Director of Planning and Development Martin Pindamkono called for concerted efforts of mainstreaming child labour so that children should be educated and not exploited.