HomeNews‘Parents fuel child labour’

‘Parents fuel child labour’

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PARENTS sending children into the streets to beg and contribute to the family income were unaware that they will be fuelling child labour, an official with the Coalition Against Child Labour in Zimbabwe (CACLAZ) has said.


SENIOR REPORTER

CACLAZ co-ordinator Pascal Masocha told NewsDay that research has shown that the number of children involved in child labour in Harare has swelled to 12% of the child population and most of them did this to supplement family income.

The number of child labourers has risen to 12 percent. Picture by Tapiwa Zivira
The number of child labourers in Harare has risen to 12 percent. Picture by Tapiwa Zivira

“This is a growing problem and now statistics indicate that almost 12% of the child population is engaged in child labour,” he said.

“Most of the parents that send their children to work in the streets are unaware that they are fuelling child labour. They think the children are just helping out the family by bringing in extra income.”

Masocha said poverty–ridden areas including Mbare, Mabvuku and Epworth were the major supply line of child labour to the Harare metropolis.

He noted that using children to beg was an abdication of parental responsibility and robbed children — who are supposed to be in school and have play time — of the right to childhood.

Zimbabwe is ranked among the top 10 countries where child labour is most prevalent, according to an international report.

Risk analysis firm Maplecroft ranked Eritrea, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe and Yemen as among the 10 hotspots with high child labour prevalence out of 197 countries.

 

Girls have to juggle between schoolwork and household chores. Picture by Xinhua
Girls have to juggle between schoolwork and household chores. Picture by Xinhua

CACLAZ’s observations confirmed the findings of a 2010 UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) report which also noted that 13% of children in Zimbabwe were engaged in child labour.

Unicef said out of 1,5 million orphans in the country, 100 000 were living on their own in child-headed households and were at high risk of abuse in search of a living.

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