Over 3.1 million children in the country grow in violent homes, the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has said.
MCTU deputy director (organising and education), Jessie Ching’oma, said this on Wednesday at a child labour law enforcement workshop in Mulanje.
In her presentation, Understanding Child Labour in Malawi: Nature,
Context and Geographical Distribution, Ching’oma said the fight against child labour can only be won if stakeholders are familiarised with the nature and context under the vice prevails.
The meeting—which drew together participants from ministries of Labour, Education, Agriculture, Gender and Children’s Welfare, Malawi Police Service, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi, informal traders associations and traditional leaders—was organised by MCTU with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
“We need to understand the environment in which we operate to effectively fight child labour.
“Statistics show that 3.1 million people grow in violent homes and 65 percent of girls and 35 percent of boys experience some form child abuse and violence during their life time,” she said.
Ching’oma said although poverty is the major driver of child labour, there are other factors that also force them to go to work.
“Malawi is estimated to have 1.3 million orphans, 240 000 of them lost both parents. Every year, about 70 000 children are orphaned,” she said.
The meeting—aimed at orienting stakeholders on legal instruments and international conventions available to fight child labour—noted that the agriculture sector is the major culprit of child labour.