Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) has urged the country’s financial service providers to join the fight against child labour.
The call was made in the commercial city of Blantyre on Thursday February 22 during ECAM’s high level consultative workshop with financial service providers on the fight against child labour.
Speaking during the workshop, ECAM Vice President Ms. Ivy Kwatiwani, said they thought of engaging with financial institutions on child labour issues as they are the market players in the supply chain of tea and coffee where child labour is mostly recorded.
Kwatiwani said financial sector members which include banks and microfinance institutions, needs to integrate measures that address Child Labour risk in their various services offered to tea and coffee supply chain actors.
She then urged members of the financial sector to join the fight against Child Labour by proposing possible interventions to eliminate Child Labour and by implementing national and regional policies.
“This event is another important step towards the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. This is well-aligned with ECAM’s primary role of promoting, guiding, and protecting employers’ interest in labour employment and socio-economic issues.
“ECAM recognizes the crucial role that employers in Malawi play in an effort to help children. And together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) strongly believe that the financial sector has many opportunities to positively contribute to eliminating child labour,” said Kwatiwani.
She further added that the supply chain strategy used by Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in supply chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) project in addressing child labor, shows the important role that financial institutions plays as financier within respective agribusiness supply chains that include tea and coffee.
Some of the financial service providers that attended the meeting include; representatives from National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF), Nyasa Capital Finance and CDH Bank just to mention but a few who all said they have policies that bar minors from being involved in their service provision.