Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) has put in place measures to eliminate child labour in Malawi through the project it is implementing with funding from Netherlands through the international Labour organisations(ILO).
The project is being implemented in Malawi with the aim of eliminating Child labour, especially in agricultural sectors.
The project, called Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in supply chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa), is being funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Speaking on Monday 28 March 2022 in Lilongwe during the meeting of SADC Ministers of Employment and Labour and Social Partners, ECAM Executive Director Goerge Khaki said they are looking at fast-tracking the elimination of child labour in supply chains, especially in tea and coffee in Malawi.
Khaki said through the project, they have put in place some measures in the fight against child labour like sensitisation of stakeholders member companies on the effects of child labour and how they can end child labour.
“As ECAM, through this project, we have incorporated financial institutions such as banks, so that they lend out money which goes to the tea and coffee sectors and we believe if they include in their policies issues of child labour, it will go a long way in eliminating child labour. We have also engaged media knowing fully that the media will be our biggest colleagues in the fight against child labour”.
“We have also committed ourselves to withdraw the children that are in child labour or are in danger of going into child labour to withdraw them from that and probably train them and give them jobs. Our target is that we should at least have a starting point of not less than 50 of these children that are either in child labour or in danger of going into child labour, into the workforce and train them appropriately”, said Khaki.
Khaki also noted that the meeting of SADC Ministers of Employment and Labour and Social Partners will have a big impact on the fight against child labour in Malawi as they will discuss issues of child labour how Covid-19 pandemic has increased cases of child labour and how best child labour can be eliminated in the SADC region.
“We are looking at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and as we try to rebuild our economies. We are aware that the Covid-19 had an effect on issues of child labour. So child labour increased because families had to look for resources and therefore they had to use children in their homes to try to earn an income. Therefore, this meeting will put a spotlight on the effects that we as Malawi and SADC as a region are doing to eliminate child labour, especially in the face of Covid-19”, said Khaki.
Khaki also hinted that ECAM is reviewing the Employers Guide on the elimination of child labour as well as the code of conduct for employers on the elimination of child labour in Malawi.
The ACCEL Africa project is being implemented in the Decent work Country programme (DWCP-ll, 2020-2025) especially priority Area 2: Ratification and application of International Labour Standards (ILS) and fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW). The project is targeting five districts in Malawi namely: Mulanje, Tchyolo, Mzimba, Chitipa and Tchisi and it will run-up to December 2022.
Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) was registered in 1963 under the Trustees Incorporation Act of Malawi. The primary role of the Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) is the promotion, guidance and protection of employers’ interests in labour, employment and socio-economic issues.