In a bit to combat child labour in places where tobacco is grown across the country, an international organisation, Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco growing (ECLT) Foundation has partnered TAMA Farmers Trust.
According to the Foundation`s National Consultant Andrew Namakhoma, most children are being exposed to harsh environment especially this time of COVID-19 crisis as most are being forced to work in tobacco fields.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed brought a number of challenges across the global and Malawi has been affected too, for instance, we have witnessed a rise in cases of child labour in most tobacco fields across the country,” said Namakhoma.
He told YONECO FM online that the Coronavirus pandemic has fueled child labour cases in most Tobacco fields across the country hence the need for concerted efforts.
“We have been working with TAMA Trust to mobilise and sensitise the farming communities such that they are aware what COVID-19 is and how they can protect their children from contracting it at the same time protecting their children from child labour,” said Namakhoma.
He also disclosed that ECTL Foundation is planning of working with the Tea Association of Malawi towards dealing cases of child labour in tea estates in accordance with the implementation of recently completed National Action Plan.
The Foundation advocates for strong policies and engage rural families so that they benefit from farming while ensuring that their children are healthy, educated, and encouraged to reach their full potential.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), estimates show that over 70% of all child labour is in agriculture, mostly alongside parents on family farms.