THE government and agriculture stakeholders have been urged to work as a team in order to wipe out child labour in the industry.
Representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE), Government and Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) called for concerted efforts especially in tobacco chain production that employs a number of children.
Speaking at a three-day strategic workshop to address decent work deficit in the agriculture sector attended by more than 50 participants from within and outside the country recently, TUCTA Senior Official, Ms Siham Ahmed, said they must make sure children are removed from the labour market and rehabilitated.
Explaining, Ms Ahmed called upon the government to re-establish Child Labour Unit and strengthen National Steering Committee that organises regular meetings to get reports, discuss and make decisions for the implementations.
Equally, she appealed to the State to strengthen the monitoring system, adding: “It is not only focusing on tobacco or agriculture, other mechanisms and systems should be put in place for sustainable reports to be submitted to relevant authorities from time to time.
"It is important to have the Child Labour Unit and this is for the government to decide and take action on…let us strengthen the steering committees and monitoring systems, including naming and shaming employers, who recruit children as their workers.”
ATE Representative, Mr Vitus Lugakingira said the association fully supported the idea, and will get involved in its programs and projects, which are geared towards ending child labour, adding: “We shall also raise awareness among our members on the need to adhere to the law of the land.”
ILO is working closely with the Prime Minister's Office (Labour, Youth, Employment and People with Disability), ATE and TUCTA on a project that would address the challenge, mostly in the agricultural sector in the country.
Other crops in the focus include cashew nuts, coffee, tea, cloves, cotton and sisal, where a data analysis undertaken by ILO in 2018 shows that Tanzania's tobacco production in 2017 stood at 104.5 thousand tonnes in 118,763 hectare of land.
Whereas in September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals that resolved that between then and 2030 ending poverty and hunger, there should be sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all.
ILO has signaled its intention in this period of global transition to promote the goal by securing decent work for all everywhere.
Decent work is a global demand today and ILO has translated it into four interrelated pillars of fundamental principles, rights at workplace, employment, social protection and social dialogue.