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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04LILONGWE821
2004-08-23 14:22:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

2004 MALAWI CHILD LABOR UPDATE

Tags:   ELAB  PHUM  EAID  EIND  ETRD  SOCI  MI  AFIN 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LILONGWE 000821 

SIPDIS

DOL FOR ILAB/TINA FAULKNER AND MARINDA HARPOLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM EAID EIND ETRD SOCI MI AFIN
SUBJECT: 2004 MALAWI CHILD LABOR UPDATE

REF: (A) 03 LILONGWE 909, (B) STATE 163967, (C) LILONGWE

696



1. This message is an update of reftel A, as requested
reftel B.

Laws and Regulations Proscribing Child Labor


--------------------------




2. According to Labor Commissioner Zebron Kambuto, the
GOM is currently preparing a code of conduct to serve as
a guide for labor officers to define and combat child
labor. In addition, Kambuto said the GOM has prepared
an outline of weaknesses in the current legislation and
plans to amend the legal framework regarding child labor
in order to make labor policies and legislation more
effective. The proposed legislation changes will be
reviewed at a stakeholder meeting in late August 2004.

Implementation and Enforcement


--------------------------




3. Discussing enforcement, Kambuto said during the
previous year the GOM has trained about 120 labor
officers in child labor monitoring, reporting and
inspection. There are a total of 150 labor
officers/inspectors in the ministry, all of whom handle
child labor investigation. Since the training took place
in late 2003, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational
Training (MOLVT) has held one refresher course.

Formal Mechanisms to Investigate Complaints


--------------------------




4. Turning to the investigative process, Kambuto said
there were many incidents of child labor reported by
district labor officers in all regions of the country.
He said, however, there were no prosecutions or
convictions in the past year. Conceding that more
prosecutions and convictions should have occurred,
Kambuto said the GOM plans to intensify civic education
about child labor, as many of the violations are a
result of ignorance of the law.

Social Programs to Prevent/Redress Child Labor


--------------------------

-


5. In an effort to combat child labor, the Ministry has
increased its partnerships with local and international
NGOs, youth organizations, and other international
organizations, such as UNICEF and ILO/OPEC. The
Elimination of Child Labor in Tobacco (ECLT) project has
been addressing root causes of child labor by building
schools and performing civic education. These projects
also included food security, agroforestry, water
sanitation, and health components.



6. Attempting to use local monitors in rural areas, the
Ministry has organized youth village committees that
monitor and report on child labor. According to
Kambuto, the local monitor projects have largely been
successful because people in the villages have responded
better to local authorities than to Ministry officials.
Additionally, ILO/OPEC conducted civic education
programs throughout the year using local media,
particularly during July in observance of Child Labor
Day.

Comprehensive Policy for Worst Forms of Child Labor


--------------------------



--------------------------




7. In July 2004, the GOM released a study conducted by
the Malawi National Statistical Office (NSO) designed to
determine the magnitude of child labor in Malawi (reftel
C). The study included three parts: an assessment of
child labor, a study on child prostitution, and a study
on street children. The report stated that one-third of
Malawian children are involved in the report's
definition of child labor. The Ministry of Labor is
currently reviewing the report and consulting with
stakeholders in order to find ways to strengthen the
GOM's legislative framework to increase protection for
children.

Comment


--------------------------




8. Malawi requires resources to combat child labor and
effectively implement related laws. The Ministry
conducts educational campaigns, but lacks the requisite
human and financial resources to successfully implement
programs. Positive signs, especially the proposed code
of conduct for labor officers, demonstrate the GOM's
desire to eliminate child labor. However, substantial
improvement is not likely to occur until the GOM and its
international partners make progress in reducing poverty
and mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS.

RASPOLIC