By Echonews Admin
Kampala: As the world commemorates World child labour day, experts have said the school closures and loss of incomes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated the problem of child labour as many children have been forced to enter the workforce in order to help their families survive.
The remarks were made ahead of the commemorations to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL)
On June 12 of every year, Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) and this year’s celebrations will be held under the theme: “Act Now To End Child Labour”
Aggrey Kibenge, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, said child labour remains a major challenge to Uganda’s socio-economic transformation.
He said the consequences of child labour are dire.
He noted child labour can result in extreme bodily and mental harm, and even death adding that it deprives children of the right to education.
“I am glad to inform you that the government has taken drastic steps to eliminate child labour. The Child Labour Policy, 2006, the National Employment Policy, 2011, the Employment Act, 2006, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2006 and Employment Regulations, 2011 all have sections prohibiting child labour,”he said.
He said that this year the government also finalised the development of the National Action Plan (NAP) II 2020/2021- 2024-2025 on the elimination of child labour.
Child labour refers to any work or activity that deprives children of their childhood.
According to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2016/2017, a total of about 2,048,000 children out of the 14,984,929 aged 5-17 years were engaged in some form of child labour, which constituted 14% of all children nationally.
Nine per cent of African children are in hazardous work, again highest of all the world’s regions. Africa has the largest number of child labourers; 72.1 million African children are estimated to be in child labour and 31.5 million in hazardous work