Wednesday, 11 October 2017 11:17

ZAMBIA: Agro Sector Overworking Children... Study Shows More Than 90 Per Cent of Child Labourers Are Tilling Land

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October 11 2017 - THE agriculture sector accounts for the largest share of child labourers at more than 90 per cent, according to the International Labour Organisation, indicating the trend has not reduced since 2012 but is worsening.

The ILO Global Estimates of Child Labour Results and Trends focusing on the 2012-2016 interval also notes that a number of children were trapped in child labour worldwide, but the largest proportion of children in hazardous work was in the sub-Saharan Africa.

The last study by the Zambia Labour Force Survey of 2008 indicated that 950,000 children between the ages of five and 14 are forced to work in the labour-intensive agriculture sector, also reducing their time spent in school.

ILO national programmes coordinator for Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (ARISE) Chabala Mukatimui said the agriculture sector was the largest absorber of child labour at 92 per cent in Zambia.

She said other child labourers were absorbed in sectors such as in-services, trading, domestic, quarrying and mining, among others.

"After comparing the percentage of child labourers in Zambia, the percentage continues to remain relatively high," Ms Mukatimui said.

She said child labour had negative effects on children physically, mentally, socially and physiologically.

Child labour is also frequently associated with educational marginalisation, such as child school dropouts and repetition of grades.

"Some of the child labourers are combining work with school, a task which is not easy to balance as compared to those that are exclusively in school," she said.

Labour Minister Joyce Nonde-Simukoko said she would give a statement on the matter today.

Globally, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that 108 million boys and girls are child labourers in farming, livestock, forestry, fishing or aquaculture, often working long hours and facing occupational hazards.

"Child labour violates children's rights. By endangering health and education of the young, it also forms an obstacle to sustainable agricultural development and food security. To remedy this, FAO works to address its root causes, such as rural poverty and lack of social protection," the organisation stated on its website.

By Christine Mwaaba

Source: allAfrica

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