Cases of child labour rising in Malawi


Cases of child labour are still on the rise in the country despite several interventions by the government and non-government organisations to curb the malpractice.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) the survey that was conducted in 2015 indicated that cases of child labour in Malawi were at 38 percent.

This was disclosed in Chikwawa District on Saturday as Malawi was celebrating the World Day against Child Labour under the Theme, “In Conflict and Disasters, protect children from Child Labour”.


ILO Programmes Coordinator, Charles Nangwale, said cases of child labour are a serious problem in the country due to cultural beliefs and poverty.

“We are talking of 38 percent of children having been involved in child labour in Malawi. This is a very huge number. Child labour deprives these children their right to education and their right to a dignified future. It does not look that serious when it is happening but in the long run, it has an impact because we cannot develop as a nation,” Nangwale said.

Traditional Authority Mlilima of Chikwawa disclosed that cases of child labour have risen in his area because after the floods hit the district in 2015, people lost crops and livestock and the calamity prompted most parents to rely on their children to help earn a living.


Mlilima said most children around Thabwa are being used by banana traders from other districts like Thyolo to help sell the merchandise.

“Traders tend to use children in their businesses and this has enticed a lot of children to drop out of school. Other parents too have been forcing their children to take care of their livestock and sell merchandise for them. I am working with the police and other stakeholders in enforcing by laws to curb the vice,” he said.

Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Joseph Mwandidya, said his Ministry is enforcing laws and it plans to tour the employers from Chitipa to Nsanje to monitor how companies are employing people.

“The Ministry has an initiative to inspect companies countrywide to make sure they are not employing people below the age of 18 because it is against the laws. The children are the future hence the need to protect them from child labour, so the ministry will not allow any child to be given work beyond their age,” Mwandidya said.

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