Tanzania: Zanzibar Making Strides in Controlling Child Labour

AS countries marks the ‘World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL)’ Zanzibar is celebrating remarkable strides in controlling the vice.

According to the data released by the Minister for Labour, Economy, and Investment Mr Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga, there are estimated 25,803 children aged 5-17, who are in child labour in Zanzibar.

Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful.

Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide. World Day Against Child Labour (WDAL) is celebrated on every 12 June since 2002.

Speaking to journalists Mr Soraga said the government, since 2005, has been taking different measures to curb child labour in the country, which includes enacting laws such as ‘Labour act no. 11of 2005; child act no. 6 of 2011; and economic empowerment of people along with guidelines and plans to control child labour.

“We have also been collaborating with stakeholders to increase public awareness, through media, about the disadvantages child labour, including visiting areas where children are employed, directing them, parents and employees to stop the unwanted employment, while encouraging them to get back to school,” Soraga said.

He said in efforts to encourage children and their parents to stop child labour and children get back to school, the Labour ministry has been working with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to provide children with school materials (uniform, shoes) and support poor families with children likely to be enticed in child labour.

Paje, Jambian, Kizimkazi, Chwaka Marumbi, Uroa Nungwi, PwaniMchangani, Matemwe, Micheweni, Tumbe, Makangale, Uwandani and Mkoani are some of the identified as hotspot areas for child labour with children employed to carry and clean fish.

“Fortunately the measures have borne fruits as a total of 2,256 children including 840 females, have been rescued from child labour in Wete, Micheweni, Chakechake, and Mkoani. This is a good achievement, but despite the inventions, child labour persists, necessitating continued anti-labour campaign,” Soraga said, as he called for collective responsibility to address child and meet the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which calls on countries to control child labour by 2030.

The 2022 World Day Against Child Labour was celebrated on Sunday June 12th, 2022 withy the theme ‘Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour.’

It tries to address why hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are still engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of these children.

The day is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour, reflected in the huge number of ratifications of ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour and ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for employment.

The WDAL provides an opportunity to gain further support of individual governments and that of the ILO social partners, civil society and others, including schools, youth and women’s groups as well as the media, in the campaign against child labour.

ILO argues that the number of in children in child labour has increased due to reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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