Opinion

Do not condone child labor

By Paul Jimbo

Over the last few months, I have been writing about the high number of underage children who serve as conductors or touts in our public transport vehicles.

Unfortunately it seems my calls have fallen on deaf ears and nobody seems to listen to my due concerns.

I am referring to the school age going children who are employed in our public transport sector.

Does someone in authority understand that their employment constitutes child labour, which is a form of human rights violation?

And if yes, why do we allow greedy individuals to work instead of being in school for a better future?

Isn’t education compulsory in this country and if indeed it is, then someone should be held responsible for using the children to make money.

In other words this is called exploitation because the children are being used for material gains.

Any exploitation constitutes serious violations of child rights and I’d appreciate if organizations like UNICEF and other partners would lobby to rid our roads of these children.

Child labour refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organisations.

It pains me to see young boys, as young as 12 years employed as touts and this goes on in the full glare of concerned authorities.

Not even our good traffic officers who man our roads have come to the rescue of this innocent lot.

I can imagine the danger these children are exposed to, more so the fact that their responsibilities include opening and closing the heavy doors and collecting fares from passengers.

We must stand up and stop any form of child labour if we are to secure the future of these children.

The society must be made to understand that child labour is a violation of human rights and is punishable under international labour laws.

 

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