By Patrick Botha
Durban, Mana: Vice President Saulos Chilima on Friday arrived in Durban, South Africa ahead of the 5th Global Conference on Elimination of Child Labour where heads of states, ministers and different stakeholders come together to share ideas, policies and common solutions aimed at eliminating child labour.
Upon landing at King Shaka International Airport, Chilima was met by Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule, Malawi’s Ambassador in South Africa Stella Ndau and other top government officials at The Capital Zimbali Hotel in the port city of Durban.
The conference, among other things, is expected to reflect on the strides member states have made on child labour issues since the inception of the global indaba in 1997.
In addition, stakeholders at the meeting are asked to share good practices, advance policies and evaluate their commitment at ending child labour.
On her part Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule hailed the indaba saying this was the first time the global gala was held in Africa after Hague, Bueno Aires, among others.
She said: “The significance of this conference cannot be overemphasized. About 160 million children across the world were involved in child labour across the world in 2015 and 2.1 milllion of those were from Malawi.”
Mtukule further disclosed that the government in the 2022 to 2023 financial year had deliberately allocated more money to the education sector in order to meet one of the pillars in the Malawi Agenda 2063 which focuses on democratizing access to education.
“Every child should access at least 12 years of basic education. I know we are still having cases of child labour in tea and tobacco estates but the government has put important legislation in place in order to curb this practice,” she added.
The 5th Conference on Elimination of Child Labour which will be opened by president of the host country Cyril Ramaphosa will take place on Sunday at Durban International Conference Centre is meant to be a serious call for action in the fight against child labour in all its forms to all member states.
The conference is in line with Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 8 which aim at ending child labour by 2030 which is also a mid-term review of the Malawi Agenda 2063.