The President of the republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Friday urged tobacco companies, business enterprises and all Malawians to join hands and take an active role in eliminating child labour.
The president considered the children as future leaders of Malawi.
The president said this during the launch of this year’s Commemorations of “World Child Labour Day”, under the theme ‘‘Child labour and the supply chain’’ Mutharika said the future of this country depends on the type of treatment children get today.
The professor said Child labour is a crime against the future generations as it damages children’s physical, social, mental and psychological development.
“We have gathered here to commit ourselves to show that we care for our children and treasure their humanity. We all have the duty to dignify our children and protect them from any harm,” said the President.
The Malawi leader emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility to give children the chance to decent education and good health.
Commenting on this year’s theme, the president said globalization has created supply chains that are too complex, which has resulted in children being the target of cheap labour.
Mutharika warned those employing children to stop the malpractice as government will take serious actions against them.
“Recruitment of children for work is illegal under the laws of Malawi and those of you recruiting children you may think you are hiding but the long arm of the law will catch you,” he warned.
International labour Organization (ILO) country officer for Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, Alexio Musindo, concurred with the president saying child labour is evil and if left unattended could derail development of a country.
Musindo said at the global level about 168 Million children are involved in child labour and only about 1.4 million of Malawian children aged 5-7 years are part of this.
Child labour is present in Malawi and it is in almost all of its supply chains of the country’s economy including agriculture, manufacturing and services.
“The commemoration of this day this year should give us an opportunity to share experiences and map the best ways of how to end child labour,” he said.
Secretary General of Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU), Pontius Kalichero while acknowledging the presence of child labour in the country, called up on government machinery to consider ratifying some protocols and formulate law and policies that will safeguard the wellbeing of children.
He said children need proper protection and be given all the required support for their survival.
World child labor day is celebrated on June 12 every year. The day is set to raise awareness about the evils of child labour and call for concerted efforts for a complete eradication.