Machinga Police warns against cross-border child labour

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Child Labour

Police in Machinga have warned parents in the area of Traditional Authority Sale in Machinga district against allowing their children to cross over to Mozambique to engage in child labour.

Community Policing Coordinator for Machinga Police, Sub lnspector Masautso Katemera advised the parents during an interface meeting with chiefs and other relevant stakeholders on issues of child welfare in the area.

Katemera observed the increase in many children crossing over to Mozambique in search of employment saying this is an infringement of laws that protect children.

He therefore called on chiefs and community policing structures in the area to be watchful of people who traffick children into Mozambique for labour exploitation.

Katemera also advised the chiefs and members of community policing structures to apprehend and hand over parents to police for allowing their children to travel to Mozambique.

The Coordinator also observed an increase in men having sexual intercourse with their stepdaughters and other forms of gender-based violence, saying these are criminal offences and police will bring to book the perpetrators.

He added that another area of concern was child marriages and police said this was also another infringement as the tendency of parents to facilitate child marriages is also on the increase at the expense of a child’s right to education.

Katemera also warned people at Sale against selling their agricultural produce to Mozambique and he called on chiefs and members of community policing structures to keep an eye on those that explicitly buy farm produce from farmers.

“Let’s protect our children from those that are involved in trafficking our children into Mozambique for labour exploitation at the expense of child education,” he added.

Traditional Authority Sale thanked Machinga Police for engaging his subjects on issues of child trafficking, child marriage and other forms of gender-based violence.

He said he would heed the police’s advice and gave an assurance that chiefs and members of community policing structures would work in collaboration to deal with issues that were raised during the interface meeting.

Station Executive Committee (SEC) Chairperson in Machinga, Richard Kalasa, said there was a need for chiefs to collaborate with community policing structures in the area to deal with child trafficking, child marriages, gender-based violence and other social issues that go against laws of Malawi.

He called upon the group heads and village heads to be in a community-level policing committee to strengthen safety and security in their respective areas.

The interface meeting was supported by an organisation called Power to the Youth that operates in the area.

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