The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has called for collective efforts from all stakeholders including parents and community to eliminate child labor.
While addressing reporters at Uganda Media Center at the commemorations of world day against child labor on Friday, the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender James Ebitu called on parents and the community to support Government in the fight against child labor.
“The elimination of child labor calls for collective efforts of all stakeholders including parents and community. I therefore would like to take this opportunity to urge all Ugandans especially parents and community leaders to support Government efforts of eliminating child labour,” said Ebitu.
A Report of the National Labour Force Survey 2016/17 published by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) showed that 550,000 children aged 14 – 17 years were in hazardous child labour, about 476,000 children aged 12 – 13 years were in child labour and 1,031,000 children aged 5 – 11 years were in child labour.
In total therefore, about 2,057,000 children out of the population of 13,616,000 of children aged 5 – 17 years were in child labour.
“The high prevalence of child labour in Uganda and globally calls for continued national and global efforts against child labour. This is because child labour limits the physical, psychosocial and moral wellbeing of children. We must therefore use the commemorations of world day against child labour as an occasion to catalyze national and global efforts against child labour,” said Ebitu.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shocks increase the risk of children getting into child labor as a coping mechanism.
The children who are most susceptible to child labour are those from low Income households especially those whose parents earn their family food from daily income.
Ebitu admitted that children from low Income households are at risk of getting into child labour.
“With daily income lost because of the lockdown (COVID-19 lockdown), children from low Income households especially in urban and poor urban areas were more at risk of getting into child labour in search for income for food,” he said.
Ebitu called on district labour officers to regularly carryout child labour specific inspections as part of Government efforts towards the elimination of child labour in Uganda.