The Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) has bemoaned the high incidence of child labour in Zambia.
ZFE trustee member Mabvuto Daka observed that the persistence of child labour was rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults.
Mr Daka said the perseverance was also due to lack of social protection and failure to ensure that all children attended school through provision of learning opportunities.
Mr Daka was speaking during the commemoration of the World Day against Child Labour held under the theme “No Child Labour, Yes to Quality Education.”
He said the theme was timely as it accorded everyone an opportunity to reflect how communities, countries and the continent faired in combating child labour.
“The theme challenges us all therefore to re-examine our core priorities in the fight against worst forms of child labour as they relate to education opportunities for our children,” he said.
Mr Daka said it was an important reminder to our Government and other authorities and stakeholders that the solution to child labour problem partly lay in the provision of quality, and compulsory education for all children.
He said ZFE believed that employers had a very big and significant role to play in the fight against child labour.
Mr Daka said this could be done by refusing to employ children and support education programmes as part of their corporate social responsibility programme.
He said child labour could also be avoided if employers provided decent salaries and wages to workers as well as respectable social protection to workers to avoid destitution on separation from employment.
“We should also consider the need to modify social and traditional attitude and values to orientate both parents and the would-be-employers to the values of developing the intellectual capacity of children instead of seeking short-term economic gains which push them to having to employ children,” Mr Daka said.
He said there was also need to increase support for social policing in order to adequately deal with the problem of child labour.
“We in the federation of employers’ stand ready to partner with other stakeholders in pushing this agenda forward for a better education and skilled future generation that will ensure a prosperous nation,” he said.