labour; land; agriculture; growth

Zambian agro sector under fire for child labour

Zambia has been cited by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for its high number of child labourers in the agriculture sector.

According to ILO Global Estimates for between 2012 and 2016, the Zambian agriculture sector accounted for more than 90% of child labour.

“The number of child labourers in Zambia continues to remain relatively high, and the agriculture sector was the largest absorber of child labour at 92%,” said Chabala Mukatimui, ILO National Coordinator.

Child labourers are mainly engaged in crop, livestock and fish farming where they work long hours in unsafe conditions.

The report cites activities like herding cattle, applying of pesticides and all night fishing on a boat as child labour, but it can also be seen as equipping them with valuable livelihood skills.

Mukatimui said the effects of child labour included education marginalization, as drop-outs from school increased.
“Some of them are combining school, a task which is not easy to balance, as compared to those that are exclusively in school,” she said.

Zambian Labour Minister Joyce Nonde said she will give a statement on the matter later this week.

share this