Prosper Umoja project manager, Christopher Ruyenga made the disclosed on Wednesday during an event to mark the World Day Against Child Labour held in Chunya district, Mbeya region. This year’s theme according to the United Nations is ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams’.
The projects, implemented by Winrock International with the financial support from Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Programme Foundation (ECCT) it works to end child labour in tobacco cultivating regions including Mbeya, Tabora and Songwe regions.
“We have been working with tobacco purchasing companies to control child labour in tobacco farms. We have so far managed to rescue 180 children and provided them with school uniforms and learning materials”, he noted.
He said through the project, a total of 180 women have been trained on entrepreneurship skills to enable them raise money for their children requirements.
Speaking on behalf of tobacco buyers, representative from TLTC Company, Fabian Kababi said they have resolved not to buy tobacco from farms that are attended by children.
He said the have educated farmers on the impact of involving children in tobacco farming, instead let them concentrate with studies for their better future.
Chunya District Commissioner, Eng Maryprisca Mahundi said legal measures will be taken against any farm owner who will employ children.
According to research conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), 218 million children under five years and those below 17 years are involved in child labour. The report indicates that 72.1 percent of the children work in various sectors within Sub-Sharan Africa.
ILO launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
The World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
According to ILO, although child labour occurs in almost every sector, seven out of every ten is in agriculture.