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Over 8 000 children rescued from child labour

06 February 2014, 09:13 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The 2013 report on child labour reveals that a total of 8 388 children were rescued from the practice which is being fought internationally.

Labour Cabinet Secretary, Kazungu Kambi, however, said the released figures are not adequate after being hampered by several factors such as scarce resources, school drop-out cases, cultural practices, weak enforcement mechanism and lack of comprehensive and up-to-date child labour findings.

Kambi noted that the Child-free Certification Programme embedded in the International Labour Standards and National Labour Standards has been the key initiative in eliminating the vice of child labour in the country.

“The goal of the certification programme is to eradicate child labour from production and supply chains,” said the cabinet secretary.

A 17-year-old victim of child labour, Lucas Indwasi who worked at the scrap metal industry narrated his tribulation saying that children suffer a lot from the vice to the point of derailing their future.

“We are forced to wake up as early as 5:00 am to search for scrap metals that pose danger to our lives and health,” said Indwasi.

Indwasi, who was forced discontinue with his education after failing to secure a place in secondary school, said he decided to look for work in order to sustain his family’s income.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Deputy Secretary General, Benson Okwaro called for the involvement of chiefs in the initiative to help eradicate child labour at the location level.

Okwaro urged stakeholder participants to put in more effort and funds to ensure the programme succeeds.

The European Union head of Social Affairs and Environment to Kenya, Hjordis Ogendo said there was need for the whole community to commit itself towards child labour-free zones adding that children should be sensitized about their rights.

The Children Labour Free Certification was launched in January 2013 by the Ministry of Labour in collaboration with COTU and the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).

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