Stop aiding child labour
Posted Monday, September 30 2013 at 01:00
In many households today, there are children who are subjected to hard labour yet their tormentors console themselves that after all, they feed, finance, cloth, and house them.
The latest Uganda Bureau of Statistics report indicates that two million out of 18 million children in Uganda are victims of child labour. This points to a 300,000 increase in the number of victims of child labour up from the 1.7 million which the government has been quoting.
The Constitution defines a child as any person below 18 years of age. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that children should be protected from economic exploitation. Any work that is hazardous, interferes with children’s education or is harmful to their health and development is considered as child labour.
However, due to economic hardships, it is nowadays common to find parents/guardians, especially in rural areas, urging their children to find work in order to bring money home. Some parents sometimes connive with relatives or friends in urban areas to whom they surrender their children to work and in return send money back home to their parents. In other cases, children go to urban areas in search of work without seeking for their parents’ consent.
While many house help agencies are mushrooming in Kampala, no one seems to know the age of the people these agencies enroll and the nature of work the graduates eventually get. In many households today, there are children who are subjected to hard labour yet their tormentors console themselves that after all, they feed, finance, cloth, and house them.
Child labour is cheap so in a bid to spend less, adults hire children to work for them. Spontaneous visits to factories, workshops, fisheries and such other establishments will reveal the extent to which child labour is a grave matter. As parents strive to improve their lives, they should learn to respect under age children. Do not subject children to situations where they have to do odd jobs in exchange for money in the name of fighting poverty. Efforts should be made to discourage children from dropping out of school.
Parents should be sensitised on the dangers of hiring out their children to people who end up exploiting them. And perpetrators of child labour should be prosecuted.