Department of Labour host 2014 National Day Against Child Labour in Northern Cape

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - AUGUST 20, 2014

The Department of Labour will be hosting the fourth National Day to put the spotlight on the scourge of Child Labour.

In May 2010 South Africa became signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Roadmap towards the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016.

The National Day Against Child Labour will be commemorated on the 22 of August 2014 at the Robert Gunda Stadium in Upington in the Northern Cape. The theme for this event is: “Let me be the child”. 

South Africa in 2003 adopted the Child Labour Programme of Action (CLPA) as its roadmap towards the prevention, reduction and eventual elimination of child labour which affects an estimated one million children in the country. 

Key elements of the CLPA are targeting the implementation of government and other stakeholders’ programmes and policies on poverty, employment, labour and social matters more effectively in areas where the work children do has serious negative effects on them; promoting new legislative measures against WFCL; strengthening of national capacity to enforce legislative measures; increasing public awareness and social mobilization against WFCL.

Since the first adoption of the CLPA significant progress has been made by South Africa. There has been significant expansion of measures to relieve household poverty which is the main driver of child labour. Legislation to address child labour has been strengthened substantially. The Children’s Act as amended in 2007 deals explicitly with child trafficking, children used by adults to commit crime and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It also reinforces the provisions on forced labour in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

The commemoration will start at 10am.

The event will be opened by Acting Director-General Sam Morotoba. He will share the stage with the department’s Acting Chief Director: Provincial Operations in the Northern Cape, Marsha Bronkhorst and Acting Deputy Director-General of Labour Policy and Industrial Relations, Thembinkosi Mkalipi. The occasion will also be attended by representatives of the ILO, government departments, organised business and labour as well as children.