Tea sector recognised for zero tolerance on child labour


The Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has recognised the country’s tea sector for its excellence in the fight against child labour.

Ecam has since awarded the Tea Association of Malawi (Taml) because of its efforts in improving the learning environment in schools within the tea estates, which, according to the organisation, is a big contribution to the fight against child labour.

Addressing journalists in Blantyre during the handover ceremony of the award, Ecam Executive Director, Beyani Munthali, said the tea industry is an exporting industry, hence the need to have child labour-free products.


“Global markets are looking for child labour free products and, if the tea sector in the country does not eliminate child labour, chances are high that their products will not make it on the international market,” Munthali said.

He further said child labour is a global and national problem which needs to be addressed.

“Child labour is not only a concern to workers but to businesses as well. Besides ethics, there is a business case to help the young people to develop in this country so that they too can contribute immensely to the economy,” he said.


Taml Chief Executive Officer, Clement Thindwa, said the tea association is committed to total elimination of child labour in the tea industry.

He said: “The tea estates follow the minimum age guidelines for employment with 18 years of age as minimum age for entry into employment on any estate.”

Thindwa said, as an association, they have invested a lot in sensitising estate owners and smallholder tea farmers to the dangers of child labour.

The 2015 Malawi National Child Labour Survey revealed that 38 percent of Malawian children aged between five and 17 are involved in child labour.

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