Weak penalties faulted in child labour fight

Winrock International says there is need to review penalties given to child labour perpetrators to help win the fight against the vice.

According to the organisation, the current penalties are weak hence people are not afraid of employing children.

Baloyi: We have stepped up the fight

Winrock International’s Regional Director for Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania, Dalitso Baloyi, said efforts to end child labour are being hampered by the weak penalties.

Baloyi was speaking on Saturday during the 2019 Child Labour Day commemorations held at Chirambo ground in Rumphi.

He said his organisation has three pillars namely: child labour reduction through education access and support, economic empowerment and regulatory frame work.

The Regional Director said Winrock feels optimistic that it has addressed child labour through parents. He then called for the need to amplify children’s voices in order to eliminate the vice.

Speaking at the function, Labour Commissioner in the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovations, Kelvin Hlalerwayo Nyasulu, said attempts were there to introduce more punitive penalties to perpetrators of child labour.

Nyasulu expressed satisfaction with Winrock International’s interventions in fighting the vice saying government was emphasizing much on awareness approach as opposed to prescriptive approach to eliminate child labour.

He said the best is to work with the communities so that everyone appreciates the need to do away with child labour other than doing the enforcement.

Winrock International is implementing Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (ARISE) project in Ntcheu, Lilongwe and Dowa where it has formed different anti- child labour clubs and Women Agri- business Groups (WAG).

The World Labour Day was commemorated under the theme “Children shouldn’t work in the fields but on dreams.”

The commemoration day in Rumphi was spiced up by drama and songs with children hoisting placards that carried messages denouncing child labour in Malawi.