Malawi making positive strides in elimination of child labour


Ministry of Labour says the Malawi Government in partnership with Employers Association of Malawi (ECAM) and International Labour Organisation is making positive strides in eliminating child labour in the country.

This was disclosed in Lilongwe during a taskforce meeting organised by Employers Association of Malawi (ECAM).

Chief Labor Officer in the Ministry of Labor Francis Kwenda said there are several efforts that have been made by Government as well Stakeholders.

As part of Government they have made strides in terms of jointing other countries where they have committed to accelerate the elimination faster and further than other countries.

“As a country, we have really positive strides in as far as ending child labour is concerned and let me say this, we want to make sure that by time we reach 2025 we should make so much progress.

“At the same time we are also developing some legal frameworks which are made to fight the cause.

“For example, we have reviewed the National Action Plan of Child labour and we are also pushing for the finalization and adoption of the National child labour policy.

“At the same we have come with national child labour mainstreaming guide the National advocacy and communication strategy,” explained Kwenda.

On her part, Ellen Ziwoya who a Communication Officer at ECAM said through the ACCEL Africa Project ECAM has successfully strengthened the capacity for improving compliance ( due diligence and remediation ) on child labour.

“We have sensitized employers using the reviewed Employers Guide and the Employers Code of Conduct in the elimination of child labour, trained employers using the employers training manual for child labour, recorded increase of Corporate Social responsibilities through the assessment and interaction between ECAM and Members to address child labour root causes through CSR investments.

“Another crucial issue is the establishment of the Malawi Employers taskforce on Child Labour which has developed a sustainability plan to ensure continuation of child labour interventions,” said Ziwoya.

Ndamyo Kabuye from International Labour Organisation (ILO), who is also the National project coordinator for ACCEL project in Malawi said ACCEL Africa Project has supported 500 households with IGAs and further more an estimated total 4907 (2538 girls, 2369 boys).

He added that the ILO ACCEL Africa Project with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands has made steady and progressive efforts in supporting government, Ministry of Labour to eliminate child labour.

“Through the partnership with ECAM in 2021, we established and instituted a first of its kind National Employer taskforce on child labour representing the interest for employers and focused to all employers, both private and public actors. We have also instituted industry level taskforce committee to deal with issues of child labour in the tea industry as response and address mechanism

“We have also supported ECAM to have an Employer code of conduct and guide to child labour Elimination which is. Withdrawal, Prevention and Protection of Boys and girls in vulnerable communities through access education services,” said Kabuye.

Kabuye said they have has supported 1010 out-of-school children (476 boys and 534 girls) -primary beneficiaries that were at risk and involved in child labour through the provision of educational services and counselling and have further supported 150 children with disabilities.

According to Kabuye, they have also Initiated preventative mechanism for school going children by establishing 64 anti child labour clubs in 64 primary schools across Mulanje, Thyolo, Mzimba, Ntchisi and Chitipa that has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education and also institutionalized by teacher union of Malawi as a model for addressing child labour in schools where a total of 3897 in school children are participating.