Activist calls for swift implementation of child protection laws

By Mabuchi Chunga

A Child rights Activist who is also the Executive Director of Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO), MacBain Mkandawire, says implementing child protection laws and policies is very key in dealing with issues of child labor in the country.

Mkandawire made the remarks as the country joined the rest of the world in commemorating World day Against Child Labor which falls on June 12 every year.

Mkandawire said despite progress being made to curb the vice through the legislation of laws, there is still need to ensure that the laws are being implemented.

He cited the porous borders as an issue that is fueling child trafficking despite having laws in place to deal with such malpractice.

Mkandawire said: “The implementation of these laws face a lot of challenges and as we are speaking now there is a big challenge to the operationalization of the child labour unit at the ministry of labour.”

He also expressed the need to carefully look into child labour in the agriculture sector particularly in tobacco farming and cattle heading in some district.

He further highlighted other forms of child labour that are rampant such as prostitution where by small girls are working in bars and child trafficking.

Meanwhile an Associate Professor in psychology at College of Medicine, Dr. Erick Uma, has said child labour has a negative impact on children psychologically, a burden which might live with the victim for the rest of his or her life if they are not rescued and be provided with psychosocial support.

According to the Malawi National Child Labour Survey in 2005, Malawian Children aged between five and 17 are into child labour.

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