Malawi commemorates World Day Against Child Labour 2020

The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer.

On Friday, 12 June 2020, Malawi joins the work in commemorating World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) with a focus this year on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour, under the slogan: COVID-19: Protect Children from Child Labour, now more than ever!

“The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. Globally, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours”, said Mr. George Okutho, Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO)'s Country Office for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

“In Malawi, the most recent National Child Labour Survey (NCLS), conducted in 2015, found that 38 percent of children in Malawi aged 5 – 17 years are involved in child labour, amounting to 2.1 million children, more than half of whom are engaged in hazardous work. For comparison, the 2002 NCLS estimated that there were 1.4 million children engaged in child labour, representing 37 percent of the 5 – 17 age group. Taken together, these findings indicate that the incidence of child labour in Malawi (in terms of the number of children in child labour) has increased by approximately 50 per cent during the 13-year period between 2002 and 2015. Meanwhile, the prevalence of child labour (in terms of the proportion or percentage of children in Malawi who are engaged in child labour) also increased slightly between 2002 and 2015, remaining at more than one-third of children in the country”, said Mr. Okutho.

In support, the ILO is implementing the ‘Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa’ (ACCEL Africa) project in Malawi. “The ACCEL Africa project aims to accelerate the elimination of child labour in Malawi by supporting the country to improve and enforce policy, legal and institutional frameworks that address child labour and by institutionalising innovative and evidence-based solutions that address the root causes of child labour in supply chains, including in tea supply chains”, explained Mr. Minoru Ogasawara, Chief Technical Advisor, ACCEL Africa Project, ILO. The ACCEL Africa project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

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International Labor Organization