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ILO Director’s perspective of child labour in Namibia

ILO Director’s perspective of child labour in Namibia

Hopolang Phororo, Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), for Namibia and Zimbabwe answered some questions related to child labour globally and in Namibia this week following celebrations of World Day Against Child Labour celebrated on 12 June.

What is the status of child labour in Namibia?

Studies undertaken by the ILO international Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) in 2010 and 2012 confirmed high prevalence of child labour in Namibia. The child labourers are in the agricultural sector and in private homes, as domestic workers working for long hours, meagre wages with no contract of employment.

What are ILO’s priorities in Namibia, specifically in terms of child labour?

Through IPEC, the ILO supported the government of Namibia, employers’ and workers’ organizations to develop models of intervention for the elimination of child labour. IPEC support has been a phased and multi-sector strategy, included strengthening national capacities to improve legislation, enforcement and policy coordination on child labour and forced labour, increased access to quality education and sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable populations, improved the knowledge base, raised awareness, social mobilization and piloting of demonstrative models of intervention to remove children from child labour and offering their families appropriate alternatives. The Ministry of Labour inspectorate’s capacities on enforcing the Labour Act and the Domestic Wage Order are being strengthened to include children at work.

What more need to be done in order to eradicate child labour in Namibia and the world at large?

To combat child labour, multi-faceted approaches such as adopting and enforcing laws that safeguard children, good quality education and training for them to acquire the requisite skills for the labour market and social protection, which enables access to education, health care and nutrition play a critical role in the fight against child labour.

Meanwhile Child labour world wide: 2013 figures (new statistics expected in Noverber 2017) shows that global number of children in child labuor has declined by one third since 2000, from 246 million to 168 million children. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region with the highest incidence of child labour. Child labour among girls fell by 40% since 2000, compared to 25% for boys.

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