Dedza — Labour Commissioner, Hlarwayo Nyangulu, Wednesday said government has demonstrated its commitment towards child labour elimination by among other things ratifying to several international child labour related conventions.
Nyangulu was speaking in Dedza when he opened a two-day long workshop on child labour mainstreaming for members of Ntcheu and Lilongwe district's child labour committees.
He said Malawi has, among other conventions, ratified to Convention on the Right of a Child (CRC), Convention 138 on the Minimum Age Entry into Employment, Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and Convention 81 on Labour Inspection.
"The Malawi Government appreciates the impact of child labour on the country's social economic development, hence its commitment towards child labour elimination," said Nyangulu.
He said child labour is evil, hazardous and detrimental to children's health, social, psychological and moral development.
"Child labour in the long run could contribute to low human capital resource as child labour hinders children from attaining education, thereby threatening sustainability of the country's development efforts," said Nyangulu.
He, however, said it was pleasing to note that Malawi is making steady strides in eliminating child labour as manifested in the reduction of the malpractice from 37 per cent as of 2002 to 29 per cent as of 2006.
Nyangulu said if child labour was to be reduced further, there is need for district child labour committees which serve as linkages between communities and national level structures to mainstream child labour into district development plans.
"As district child labour committees, you are mandated to provide guidance to community based child labour committees and contribute towards formulation of child labour policies at national level," he said.
Earlier, Winrock International Program Manager responsible for Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (ARISE), Dalitso Baloyi said there 1.4 million children in child labour in Malawi with the agriculture sector contributing 720, 000 to the total figure.
There are 168 million children in child labour worldwide.