The Tea Association of Malawi has today commemorated World Day Against Child Labour in Mulanje by launching a project that seeks to eliminate child labour in the tea supply chain.
The event started with a march by stakeholders including children who carried messages depicting the evils of child labour.
The stakeholders marched from Chitakale round about to Mulanje Park Stadium.
Addressing the gathering, the Vice Board Chairperson for the Tea Association of Malawi Attu Kalinga said child labour no longer exists in tea farming.
Kalinga said they are now working on a strategy that will enable them to be monitoring the whole tea supply chain so that it should be child labour free.
“On tea farming, child labour is a thing of the past. We dealt with it long ago. Now the focus is on the supply chains we want it to be child labour free entirely,” said Kalinga.
On his part, International Labour Organization’s Senior Project Officer Dylan Van Tromp said if well implemented the initiative can eradicate child labour in the country’s agriculture sector.
Stallichi Mwambiwa, the District Commissioner for Mulanje stressed that his office will continue working with tea growers in dealing with child labour.
“We have a fully fledged labour office. In collaboration with other stakeholders, we will be working hand in hand to deal with child labour,” said Mwambiwa.
A survey revealed that in Malawi child labour is a persistent challenge.
The recent estimates show that more than 2.1 million children, or about 38 per cent of Malawian children, continue to be involved in child labour.
Most of these children are employed in the agricultural sector.