Understanding of child labour

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Edited by another user.
Last edit: 06:07, 3 March 2011

Dear Participants,

Welcome to this class. My name is Mukatimui Chabala. You can simply call me Mui. I hope you have had a good break and are ready for the next series of sessions. To begin the discussions on this topic:

share your views on your understanding of child labour.

--Lungowe 12:57, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Lungowe (talk)01:57, 3 March 2011
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 21:04, 3 March 2011

Good Morning to you all

Child labour in Namibia has occasionally been reported. This involved cases of child prostitution as well as voluntary and forced agricultural labour, cattle herding and vending.

Namibia ratified both the ILO Minimum Age Convention (C138) and the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (C182) in 2000. In addition, the country also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. Namibia signed the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 1999, but has not ratified it as yet.

Namibia's Labour Act is the principal law governing employment-related matters in Namibia and contains provisions prohibiting employment of children.

According to the 1999 Namibian Child Activities Survey child labour exists in the country, predominantly in the agricultural sector. The results of a follow-up survey conducted in December 2005 have not been made publicly available.

Between 2006 and 2008 the country has been in the process of formulating the Action Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour in Namibia, which was nationally endorsed in February 2008. This was done with the assistance of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) programme Towards the Elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour.


Leah T Olu-King Windhoek Namibia

Leah (talk)20:00, 3 March 2011

Hello Leah. Thank you for sharing this information from Namibia. I can see that you have been following issues on child labour in the country. The examples you have shared on child prostitution and forced labour are among those types of child labour consitered under the Worst Forms and deemed for elimination by 2016. Have you in any way been involved in the programmes you mention that are ongoing to deal with the issue of child labour?

Lungowe (talk)23:30, 3 March 2011

Iam working for the City of Windhoek Department of Economic Development and Community Services and we are working with Junior Councillors , this are Junior Councillors from different schools in Windhoek elected by their fellow learners as representative in the management of the City.

The Junior Councillors of the City of Windhoek are involved in various programs working with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in Namibia and Iam coordinating some of their program, last year the Junior Councillors conducted various workshop in schools to raise awareness of Child Labour and Trafficking of children in order to encouraged victims and members of the public to report suspected trafficking offenders and assist in investigations and prosecutions. Traffichers exploit Namibian children as well as children from Angola and Zambia, through forced labour in agriculture, charcoal production and commercial sexual exploitation.

Leah (talk)03:19, 4 March 2011

One major factor that causes Child labour in Zambia is children being orphaned or their parents are unable to take care of their children and so you find a child whom by law, is not supposed to be engaged labour intensive activities but should be enjoying the right to education, is digging pits, portering, fetching water, doing domestic chores, quarrying and stone breaking or hawking on the streets or in markets. This is really alarming and is robbing children of their right to be a child and have a decent childhood. Farai Chansa- Zambia

Faraic (talk)21:14, 3 March 2011


Child labour is using either boys or girls aged from as early as 03 years of age to about 12 for the pure purpose of monetary gain. Child labour in Africa is high due to the high levels of poverty and I am of the view that parents or guardians try to use as many hands in the family to ease the economic pressures the family may be experiencing. I am a strong advocate against using children to do what would be termed as adult jobs because not only are children robbed of their innocence but they are also exposed to other vices such as defilement, and other forms of abuse.

Mwaba (talk)10:48, 17 March 2011

Child labor in Zambia is a curse which if not lifted quickly to return the children to school, it will relegate Zambia to the depths of unending poverty. Child labor in Zambia is a deep rooted problem, which has its origin in the parental poverty and orphanhood of almost 1/3 rd of the children in the country. Zambian child labor is a very serious issue because not only does it reflect the dire situation of the country's HIV/AIDS problem but it also holds the keys to Zambia's future.

Greg daka (talk)21:36, 3 March 2011

Hi Mui Mui, Child labour refers to the employment of children who are under a minimum legal age at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations such as ILO and is illegal in many countries, including Zambia. History records that it has been in existence for ages but entered public dispute with the advent of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during the industrial revolution, and with the emergence of the concepts of workers' and children's rights. Minimum ages vary from 14 to 16. "Be-The-Best"

Susiku Nasinda (talk)22:06, 3 March 2011

Hi Susiku. You've highlighted the important aspect of age adn the law. Please also remember that the type of work is the other critical factor in the equation. As you have rightly noted, there has been a history to the discussions on the minimum age which is currently recommended to be the age of completion of compulsory education. However, in a lot of countries, education is not compulsory and the labour law is the first line of enforcement and protection.

Lungowe (talk)23:25, 3 March 2011

My understanding of child labour is that it is any work that is not suitable for the wellbeing of a child. It is the kind of work which negatively affects the health or socio-economic development of a child.

Many countries including Zambia are signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and also have national policies aimed at protecting children. However, because of high poverty levels, a lot of children are forced to work to supplement their family incomes. The HIV and AIDS epidemic has worsened the situation as a lot of children are now heading households and therefore have to work to support their siblings.

More often than not, such children lack information on services available.

Mulakom (talk)22:18, 3 March 2011

Dear Mui and all, Thanks for your interesting postings so far on child labour, Personally, I did not find any standard and consistent deifications on child labour. It most varies as per the country socio economic structures. Therefore here I am not in position to exactly reflect my understating on child labour on youth entrepreneurship context . If I have to give my country reference on child labour issues, In Nepal the major jobs children involved in are: agriculture, cottage industry, manufacture, plantation, domestic, catering, selling, manual labour, tourism and travel industries, and others like ragpicking, prostitution, begging, etc. (Suwal et al. 1997; Sattaur 1993; Bajracharya, 1999).. Most exploitative forms of child labour include bonded child labour, forced labour, girl trafficking, use of child labour in domestic and industrial sectors, and exploitation of child labour by carpet industries, street children etcs .

Please I want to learn more on this issues from other colleagues and moderator

Ekanath (talk)23:21, 3 March 2011

Dear Ekanath. Thanks for sharing your personal experience on the definitions of child labour. This is also commonly encountered in the field and it is good that you have brought it up. There are three international conventions which give us a standard definition of child labour namely the ILO Minimum Age Convention (C.138), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (C.182). thes provide the standard basis for national and international action against child labour. I would encourage you to read more on the provisions in the conventions and find out what legislative and policy frameworks Nepal has in place.

Lungowe (talk)23:44, 3 March 2011

Thanks Mui for your respond and suggestion to browse some of the conventions and the current legislative and policy frameworks of Nepal . Yes I foud quite number of initiative ,for example the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1999, followed Nepal's ratification of the ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138), and has made important amendments in the Labour Act, 1992. The Child Labour Act enlists specific occupations as hazardous work and prohibits the use of children below 16 years of age in such activities. The Act regulates hours of work for children aged 14 - 16 and provides that no child shall be engaged to work during a period from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Further, it prohibits the engagement of children below 14 in any kind of employment.

Most importantly, the Kamaiya Labour Prohibition Act, 2001, Prohibits bonded labour; frees bonded labourers and extinguishes debt flowing from such arrangements. As a result of the Kamaiya Act, many bonded girls in domestic servitude have been withdrawn and reintegrated with their families.

Thanks for your support to better understand this context

Ekanath (talk)22:21, 4 March 2011

Hi Ekanath,

It's great that you have found so much information. It is also very interesting to see that Nepal has adopted a lower age limit for admission into hazardous work than the internationally agreed one of 18 years. Please join in the other discussions.

Lungowe (talk)23:50, 4 March 2011

Dear all,

Thank you for the interesting contributions. Now that you are conversant with the basics, we will move on to the next discussion, which some of you have already ushered into.

Lungowe (talk)00:18, 4 March 2011


Child Labour

<u</u>Is basically exploiting the underage children in any form forcing them to work illegally which harms  or abuses them . This abuse may be physical mental or sexual depriving the children (child labourers) of their  rights of basic education . Generally every school of thought believes that child labour would be absent in the developed countries due to their higher economic strata. Sadly this is far from true. But it any country , the degree of abuse is just the same . We have landed on moon but failed to revolutionize our society and politicians to take up the cudgely on behalf of small children who do not even know that they are exploited.


Koziba (talk)23:28, 9 April 2011

Hello Mui, and Hi Everyone,

In my own understanding, Child Labour is when children are engaged in employment or other economic/income generating activities. In most cases such activities are harmful to the physical, mental and social well being of the child. Child labour is often exploitative, because remuneration is very poor and conditions of service are most times not clearly indicated or are not even considered at all. Victims of child labour do not attend school or do poorly at school, as a result.

Shining Star (talk)00:36, 4 March 2011

Hi Mui.

In Nigeria government and some organisation are putting effort to prevent or eliminate the worst form of chid labour as the country is deeply rooted in poverty and cultural attitudes of the people. Nigeria like many other countries, ILO policies are often flawd and violated but in Nigeria there is no legal minimum age for starting work,ILO recommends that children should be in school until the age of 14, but the children under 14 are working mostly to help pay their school fees, buy text books and help their parents for daily up keep. While most of them are drop out due to poverty or because of parents demand to contribute to the family income and many are exposed to long hours of work in dangerous & unhealthy environment. While some children are manage to stay in school and work in their spare time but due to high demands these children often skip classes and missing out on education makes it impossible to break the cycle of poverty and prevent children from having a better life and a safer future.

Chichi (talk)00:48, 4 March 2011

Dear all,
I believe child labour is simply work to a person who has not attained majority age and thus cannot decide on the appropriate terms of engagement including but not limited to; renumeration, working conditions and terms of reference. Child labour is almost always exploitative.

Marcosmburu (talk)03:45, 4 March 2011

Child labour in my understanding is any form of labour that is not fit and conducive for children as it is harmful to them and negatively affects their developemnt as children.

GabKon (talk)07:41, 4 March 2011

Employing or engaging the services of children (i.e. someone aged between 5 and 17 years) for reward or payment. Child labour must not be confused or replaced with household chores or school-related work.In Africa, most of our children are been trained in our various homes through assignments that may engage their services, skills and knowledge. This phenomenal again, cannot be child labour.

Kafuiaheto (talk)19:50, 4 March 2011

Gooday Mui and my Colluques,

Having read through your presentation on the critical issue of child labour and the contributions of my colleaques, i commend your efforts. My understanding of child labour in whatever form, region or culture, is the engagement of the services of minors(young persons below the age 10 years) for economic purposes either for the child concerned or his immediate family or community.This is usually with unpleasant consequencies for the child.

Luckyluka (talk)02:37, 5 March 2011

Hi Lungowe, Good test for one knowledge on the topic- 'Child labour'. My view on child labour is any form of danger which children are exposed to or it is the engagement of services of young people into hard labour for economic purposes which has negative effect on the children, it is also the form of labour that is not conducive for a child(Children) which is harmfol to him/her and affect its development

Ubandoma (talk)00:20, 8 March 2011