The Child Rights Information and Documentation Centre (Cridoc) says over 1.4 million children are engaged in child labour and has since called on Parliament to pass the draft Tenancy Bill.
In a statement released on Tuesday to mark the World Day Against Child Labour which falls on June 12, the non-governmental organisation said no other human rights abuse is as widespread and long-ignored as child labour.
â€œChildren are not the cause of child labour, but are victims of inadequate public and economic policy and ill-managed social systems that suppress the most vulnerable in society,â€ reads the statement signed by the NGOâ€™s country coordinator, George Kayange.
The statement said although some children are doing domestic work and employed in fishing industry, agricultural sector was identified by the National Child Labour Survey commissioned by the International Labour Organisation as the major culprit.
Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) deputy secretary general Grace Nyirenda said the children involved in child labour should be at school acquiring skills that prepare them for decent work as adults.
â€œWe specifically call for adoption of National Child Labour Policy, Employment and Labour Policy and enactment of the Tenancy Labour Bill [which are still in draft] to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour in Malawi.
â€œIn its worst forms, child labourers may also be exposed to physical, psychological or moral suffering that can cause long-term damage to their lives,â€ said Nyirenda.
This yearâ€™s commemoration was held under the theme â€˜Human Rights and Social Justice… Letâ€™s end Child Labour.â€™