As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the World Day Against Child Labor, experts have come out to warn how covid 19 has sparked child labour to high levels.
These say that the repercussions of the pandemic such as closure of schools and loss of income have impacted the welfare of children a lot and negatively.
These children have been forced into the workforce in a bid to find employment and support their struggling families.
The remarks came at a time when the country is gearing towards commemorating the World Day Against Child Labor on the 12th of June 2021.
The day which is commemorated every 12th of June yearly is set to run under the theme “Act Now To End Child Labour.”
While speaking to the media, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Aggrey Kibenge said that child labour is one of the problems that lag Uganda behind in it’s bid for socioeconomic transformation.
Kibenge added that effects of child labour are very bad and detrimental. These can result into dire bodily and psychological harm. It depreives children of a number of rights such as education and can even lead to death in worse scenarios.
“I am glad to inform you that the government has taken drastic steps to eliminate child labour. The Child Labour Policy, 2006, the National Employment Policy, 2011, the Employment Act, 2006, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2006 and Employment Regulations, 2011 all have sections prohibiting child labour.” Kibenge said.
Kibenge added how the government had also finalised the development of the National Action Plan (NAP) II 2020/2021- 2024-2025 on elimination of child labour .
Child labour refers to any work or activity that deprives children of their childhood.
A total of about 2,048,000 children out of the 14,984,929 aged 5-17 years were engaged in some form of child labour, which constituted 14% of all children nationally according to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) of 2016/17.