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Sunday, 27 May 2018 14:44

Tama fights child labour in tobacco farms

Written by  Golden Kang’oma Jnr

Salima, May 25, 2018: In a bid to fight child labour in tobacco farms and keep under age children in school, Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) has launched an awareness campaign in Salima District.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), TAMA communications officer, Sam Kalimba said it has become common trend in many areas to employ children in tobacco farms which he said leads to high school dropout.

“In most cases, here in the lakeshore when children are chased out from the tobacco farms they tend to run to the lake for fishing, so we have engaged the beach village committees to help us in preventing the children from engaging in fishing but rather to stay in school,” he said.

Kalimba further said trainings are being offered to different community committees so that everyone takes a role in combating child labour.

In his remarks, District Labour Officer for Salima, Macdirrex Chavala stated that it was clear in the Malawi Constitution that children are not supposed to be employed at all cost and that doing so is a crime.

“There is a provision in the Act that 15-17 year-old children are only allowed to work for only three hours in a nonhazardous condition,” said Chavala.

He added that most of the young children in Salima are engaged in domestic and commercial labour.

As such, most of them fail to perform in school as they can’t manage school and labour.

However, Traditional Authority Kambwiri commended the awareness campaigns, saying they are complementing their efforts in combating child labour.

He further said it was their plea that guardians start sending their children to school.

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