Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development officials say besides social and economic factors, culture is also partly to blame for fuelling child labour in Dowa District.
The ministry’s labour commissioner Hlale Kelvin Nyangulu said this on Tuedsay during a review of child labour mainstreaming guide meeting held at Linde Motel in Mponela, Dowa.
The guide has been jointly done with Winrock International, a child labour focused organisation.
“Our own culture demands that as one way of mentoring our children, we need to subject them to some kind of work. However, it has to be understood that we have child work and child labour,” he said.
Nyangulu said child labour mainstreaming guide would be a powerful tool to help reverse the trend.
He said a recent survey conducted puts child labour prevalence rate in the country at 38 percent, which translates to 2.1 million children engaged in child labour.
Winrock International agribusiness specialist, Ndamyo Kabuye said his organisation, in parternship with Japan Tobacco International( JTI), is implementing Achieving Reduction of Child labour in support of Education (Arise) programme and believes the guide once validated would help fight child labour.
“We want to ensure that children are not exposed to child labour but are sent to school,” he said.
Dowa is one of the tobacco growing districts in the Central Region and most children are involved in child labour. n