Efforts to curb child labour in gold mines proves fruitful, says RC Tue Mar 18, 2014
Geita Regional Commissioner Magalula Said Magalula has said the number of child labourers in gold mining centres in the region has been reduced than ever before.
Speaking with The Guardian on the phone from Geita last week, Magalula said that they are now fighting against the worst forms of child labour in mines by encouraging every Standard Seven leaver to proceed to secondary school.
“It is very bad to see our children drop out of school and engage in the worst forms of child labour in mining centres. Therefore, we have reached the decision that every child who has completed standard seven should join Secondary School immediately so as to avoid working in mining areas,” he said.
He warned that the government would take stern measures against parents, companies, people who engage children in such labour.
The RC also said the authorities in their region have joined efforts with nongovernmental organisations to eradicate the worst forms of child labour in the area.
“We have so far managed to enroll 70 percent of standard seven graduates in Secondary Schools. However, our target is to reach 100 percent,” he said.
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region with the highest incidence of child labour (59 million, over 21 percent, according to International labour Organisation (ILO).
Global number of children in child labour has declined by one third since 2000, from 246 million to 168 million children. More than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work (down from 171 million in 2000).
Asia and the Pacific still has the largest numbers (almost 78 million or 9.3 percent of child population), but).
There are 13 million (8.8 percent) of children in child labour in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East and North Africa there are 9.2 million (8.4 percent).
Agriculture remains by far the key area where child labourers can be found (98 million, or 59 percent), but the problems are not negligible in services (54 million) and industry (12 million) – mostly in the informal economy.
Child labour among girls fell by 40 percent since 2000, compared to 25 percent for boys.
Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999, this Convention covers all boys and girls under the age of 18 in line with the definition of the child under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It calls for ‘immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency.’ At the end of 2010, this Convention had been ratified by 173 of the 183 member States of the ILO.
The Convention defines these worst forms, to be prohibited to all persons under 18 years, as all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced of compulsory labour, including forced of compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or pornographic performances.