GLOBAL: 541 MILLION CHILDREN INVOLVED IN CHILD LABOR, 70% EMPLOYED IN AGRICULTURE - ILO REPORT

-A +A
0

A scene from a gold mine in Karamoja- Photo by Observer

“Africa takes the biggest percentage of the 70% of the children involved in child labor in the agricultural sector, 85% of which is in Africa alone. We need to reverse this trend. The productivity of this generation lies in the children. If you play with children, you play with the moral fabrics of society as a whole”

“Globally, 541 million young workers (between the ages of 15 and 24) account for 15 percent of the world’s labor force. They sustain up to 40 percent more non-fatal occupational injuries than do adult workers (workers older than 24) and workplace hazards can even pose a threat to their lives”

“These are babies we should be carrying on our backs but they are involved in child labor. They are domestically enslaved as baby-sitters of the urban rich while others are involved in gold mining in districts like Moroto and Namayingo. Is there a future in these communities?”

GULU-UGANDA: On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, Uganda joined the rest of the world in a joint global campaign which focuses on the need to end child labor and improve the safety and health of young workers.

“Globally, 541 million young workers (between the ages of 15 and 24) account for 15 percent of the world’s labor force. They sustain up to 40 percent more non-fatal occupational injuries than do adult workers (workers older than 24) and workplace hazards can even pose a threat to their lives”, reads part of the brochure for the day.

An estimated 152 million children (aged 5-17) around the world are in child labor, of which 73 million perform work which is hazardous because of its nature or circumstances in which it is carried out.

This campaign aims to accelerate actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 8.8 which seeks to ‘protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environment for all workers by 2030’ and SDG Target 8.7 to ‘take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor by 2025; end child labor in all its forms’.

 

Gulu city was chosen as the venue to host this celebration; which was held under the theme: ‘Generation Safe and Healthy; End Child Labor’. This is the day the United Nations earmarked as ‘World Day Against Child Labor’.

A representative of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Ms. Jacqueline Adongakullu Acayo told the gathering during the celebration at Kaunda Ground, Gulu, that 541 million children between the ages of 15 to 24 years are involved in child labor worldwide where 70% (percent) are employed in agriculture.

“Africa takes the biggest percentage of the 70% of the children involved in child labor in the agricultural sector, 85% of which is in Africa alone. We need to reverse this trend. The productivity of this generation lies in the children. If you play with children, you play with the moral fabrics of society as a whole”, says Acayo.

Speaking on behalf of the chairman of Gulu district, Mr. Patrick Kinyera, warned children against misconstruing the campaign by raising up against productive works like sweeping houses and compound, fetching water, cooking, and other light works which match their age.

“We don’t want children to rise against productive works like sweeping, fetching water or cooking, but to remain focused on education. Education is relatively cheap and you can afford to pay yourself in primary school even if you are an orphan” says the councilor.

Mr. Kinyera revealed that he would not have studied and reached where he is now had it not been for the support of International Labor Organization (ILO) and being focused in school.

He says the biggest percentage of the district budget goes to the education sector and that the district was the first district in the country to come out with an anti-alcohol ordinance because they realize that sachet alcohol was destroying school going youths and making them unproductive.

State minister for Gender, Labor and Social Development, Ms. Peace Mutuuzo, revealed that 2.5 million children, out of the 40 million Ugandans are children who are involved in child labor. She says 1.2 million of those children are aged 5-13 years old.

“These are babies we should be carrying on our backs but they are involved in child labor. They are domestically enslaved as baby-sitters of the urban rich while others are involved in gold mining in districts like Moroto and Namayingo. Is there a future in these communities?” says Minister Mutuuzo.

She appealed to the people of northern Uganda to stop lamenting but utilize the abundant fertile land to grow food to feed the market in East Africa like Kenya, South Sudan and DRC. She warned the leaders to be careful of faith-based organizations involved in child trafficking.

 

 

Also Check Out...

NYC CELEBRATES FIRST WEEKEND
NAN HONORS PRESTIGIOUS CELEBRITIES
POLICE INVESTIGATE MOTIVE BEHIND
ACTRESS VIVICA FOX DISCUSSES HER
FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
THE FATHER OF SLAIN 16 YEAR OLD