Malawi Labor Minister and Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for Labor Vera Kamtukule says child labor in Africa has been synchronized with customs and traditions.
She says children need to work because they follow in their parents ’footsteps in a profession.
Kamtukule is a member of the delegates of the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labor at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
She says data collection on the continent is also inefficient, and only Esvatini has the latest statistics.
Kamtukule says many factors make data collection difficult in Africa, but urged leaders to make sure child labor is included in the agenda of their high-level meetings.
Kamtukule says education is needed to teach communities to identify child labor practices.
“The nature of child labor and how it takes place in the region coincides with or synchronizes with issues of cultural norms, the way we do things. And that makes it difficult for us to collect data on child labor, so our code of conduct recommends collecting data on a regular basis. ”
Various issues are discussed at the conference:
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell says child labor can be eradicated worldwide.
“We need to create a strong child protection workforce to work with the business community to eliminate child labor at every link in the supply chain, and we need to bridge the gap by increasing balanced systems to deter child labor in all its forms. We should never take child labor as inedible. We have the strength to change that. I look forward to working together so that every child has a childhood everywhere. ”
Zimbabwean Labor Minister Paul Mawima says his government has taken steps to end child labor.
“My government has increased the social protection coverage of vulnerable families in education. The number of children supported by the basic education assistance model has increased from 450,000 in 2020 to 1 million in 2021 and is expected to reach one and a half million in 2022. ”
Conference delegates called on governments to intensify efforts to eliminate child labor and achieve the 2025 goal.