By Varaidzo Zhakata
THE timeous release of child labour statistics ensures that children’s rights and welfare are safeguarded in a sustained manner that advances their quest, the United Nations’ children arm has noted during the launch of the 2019’s Labour Force and Child Labour Survey (LFCLS) conducted by the government’s statistics agency.
The agency, ZIMBABWE Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) 2019 survey indicates a child labour prevalence around 28 percent (%) (round figure from 27, 9%, reflecting a 21, 86% decrease from 49, 86% that was recorded in 2014.
ZimStats conducts these studies after every five years.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said these statistics are key for guided joint efforts by government and its development partners to combat the child labour scourge.
Recently speaking at the Zimbabwe Statistic Agency (ZIMSTAT), UNICEF’s representative Ms Laylee Moshiri said that relevant protective nets for children could only be applicable if informed by the reality on the ground.
She noted that these include basic education, health, nutrition, welfare and sanitation sectors with sufficient human and financial funds from the State Budget to guarantee development and protection of children and curtail the negative coping strategies for domestic survival.
According to Moshiri, this Survey is significant for measuring improvement in a variety of national economic and social indicators including efforts headed for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Unicef also highlighted that the protection of children from profitable operation is of great importance and is contained in the SDGs 8 and 16.
“As the world strives for economic development, the protection of children from economic exploitation remains fundamental. These commitments are well articulated in SDGs 8 and 16,” said Moshiri.
Moshiri further cautioned governments to heed the UN principle that protect the children from performing work that is meant to give financial benefit.
“Moreover, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child calls for Governments to, I quote, “recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development,” cautioned Moshiri.
Child Labour is strongly associated with violations of associated child rights like the right to education, right to play and leisure hence, UNICEF is ready to work with the Government and all stakeholders in creating a Zimbabwe free from child labour.
By Varaidzo Zhakata