5 November 2012

Tanzania: Forced Labour Drives Isles Children From Schools

Photo: ILO
Child Labour

CHILD labour joint survey has revealed that a total of 1248 children from Unguja and Pemba Islands have dropped out of schools due to several reasons including engagement of the worst forms of labour.

According to the survey, among them, 781 are boys and 467 girls from 16 wards (Shehias) of Micheweni and Wete (Pemba) and North A and South for Unguja. The Child Labour project survey supported by the European Union EU is being implemented by Save-The-Children, Catalyst Organisation for Women's Progress in Zanzibar (COWPZ), Tanzania Media Women's Association (TAMWA), Kupunguza Umasikini na Kuboresha Hali za Wananchi (KUKHAWA), Pemba Island Relief Organisation (PIRO) and the Ministry of Labour and Cooperatives.

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Save The Children Idris Sekibo, mentioned other contributing factors as poverty and lack of interest to school for children under 18 in the rural areas. "The children were identified by the shehia child labour committees who also cross checked with the families and the schools," he said.

He cited harmful works for children as those which make children abandon their studies and also risk their health and life status. He mentioned the common forms of child labour in the areas as smashing and drilling stones, scaling and fishing, carts dragging, trees climbing and working in hotels.

Save The Children officer also said a special campaign will be launched to withdraw and reinstate the children to school.

A total of 113 committee members from Unguja and Pemba were trained on child labour hazard, identification, verification and prevention. Among the Committee members Ali Khamis Ame from Marumbi village, said the issue is very prominent among poor families who understand very little about child labour consequence to the child, family and the society at large.

"In some cases, children leave school without the knowledge of their parents but sometimes they do that in almost conjunction with the parents, in any case there is lack of cooperation between parents and teachers, an issue which we need to address," he said.

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