ON June 12 every year, the International Community joins to mark the World Day against Child Labour. On this day, it calls for Universal ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO)'s Conventions on child labour and of all ILO core conventions.
Also, it calls for National policies and programmes to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour and Action to build the worldwide movement against child labour. According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Ms Gaudensia Kabaka, the World Day against Child Labour provides a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights.
The government has already harmonized the 1996 children development policy and come up with a new one which declare that, child labour is not allowed and calls for its elimination. The Minister further says that the government has made amendment on Children Development Policy of 1996 and come up with a new one that states 'child labour is not allowed especially Employment Relations Act of 2004 and Labour law of 2009 which prohibit child labour.
This law states that, child labour is a criminal offence. However, the Minister said that, the government in collaboration with other stakeholders such Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE), Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) and other NGOs continue to educate and create awareness on child labour problem.
The ILO Director in Dar es Salaam Office for East and Central African Countries, Mr Alexio Musindo, says that, Child labour trend in the world shows a little reduction in child labour and therefore still some 215 millions of children across the world are still trapped in child labour and 60% of them are in agriculture sector.
According to the Integrated Labour force Survey (2006) in Mainland 18.7% of the 12,083,349 children aged 5-17 years were in child labour while Zanzibar 8.6% for the same age group (375,975) were in child labour. Musindo says that following a great work done by the Tanzania Government for the past nine years through Time Bound Programme in collaboration with the employers, workers, MDAs and NGOs, Tanzania (both Mainland and Zanzibar) developed the National Action Plan (NAP) for the elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour.
It is now a time for effective implementation of the NAP and put into action the developed hazardous lists and its regulations. Efforts by the Tanzania government that involve employers, workers' organizations, as well as other stakeholders have established the child labour focal points to monitor child labour in informal economy. This good initiative contributes to the reduction of child labour if there will be partnership with the national human rights bodies, parliamentarians, education sector, community development sector, agriculture sector, MDAs and many other key actors.
Efforts of the Tanzania government for the adoption of the ILO Convention No 189 on domestic workers and the current movement towards the ratification of the domestic workers ought to be lauded. ILO continues to support Tanzania technically through the Ministry of Labour and Employment in collaboration with the employers and workers' organization on issues related on child labour.
The ILO officer in charge for East and Central Afrian Countries calls for ratification of the all core conventions related to child labour, national policies and programmes to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour and action to build the movement against child labour. The Assistant Labour Commissioner (Labour Relations), Hawa Wenga, says that, in 2010 the international community adopted a Roadmap for achieving the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016. She stresses that child labour is an impediment to children's rights and a barrier to development.
This year's World Day Against Child Labour highlighed the work that needs to be done to make the roadmap a reality. World Day Against Child Labour this year call universal ratification of the ILO's Conventions on child labour (and of all ILO core Conventions). National policies and programmes are needed to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour. Action to build the worldwide movement against child labour are important, as ILO Conventions seek to protect children from exposure to child labour.
Together with other international instruments relating to children's, workers' and human rights, such legislations provide an important framework. The ILO's most recent global estimate is that 215 million children worldwide are involved in child labour, with more than half this number involved in its worst forms. However, children concerned should be at school being educated and acquiring skills that prepare them for decent work as adults.
The ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No 182) calls for "immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency". The worst forms include slavery, or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, as well as forced labour, including forced or compulsory labour.
The use, procurement or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances should also be fought against. There is also a need to ban use, procurement or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in relevant international treaties Work which, by its nature is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children, such harmful work to be determined by national authorities should also be eliminated.
In its 2010 Global Report on child labour, the ILO has said that the global number of child labourers had declined from 222 million to 215 million. Progress was greatest among children aged 5-14, where the number of child labourers fell by 10 per cent.