JTI Malawi Limited has stressed the need to combat child labour in the tobacco industry in Malawi.
JTI has been funding the Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (ARISE) project since 2011. The project is being implemented in Ntcheu, Lilongwe and Dowa by Winrock International and beneficiaries are children aged 5-17 that have been withdrawn, prevented and protected from child labour.
The project’s aim is to eliminate child labour in tobacco growing communities through an integrated and holistic approach.
Speaking during national symposium for child labour best practices, JTI’s Limbani Kakhome said the organisation is fighting against child labour through community empowerment, education programmes, vocational training, and entrepreneurship with the aim of involving different aspects in eliminating child labour in the country.
Kakhome added that they are working in collaboration with government to ensure that Malawi wins the battle once and for all.
“As we are aware that child labour cannot end on a silver platter, all aspects of development need to be attached just like what JTI has been doing since 2011 so that people in the country should be self-independent,” Kakhome explained.
He therefore asked the general public to take part in the fight against child labour to build a bright future for the coming generation.
Timpuza Mwansambo who represented the ministry of labour, youth, sports and manpower development commended the organisation saying the programmes are helping the country in achieving sustainable development goals more especially goal number 8 which seeks to eliminate child labour by 2025.
Mwansambo explained that reducing child labour through awareness campaigns at national level is significant.
During the day, some couples and a young boy called Leonard Tembenu received an award as part of appreciating their efforts in ending child labour in their areas.
According to a 2015 child labour survey, 38 percent of children aged 5-17 years are involved in child labour mostly in the central and southern regions of Malawi. Among children in child labour, 60 percent are in hazardous work with 66 percent in agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.