1 Jun, 2018

Share this Article

Participants during the training
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) is planning to introduce and mainstream child labour in its programmes.

This was revealed recently at Kumudzi Eco-Tourism Centre during a training workshop for LUANAR Students on Child and Forced Labour.

Speaking during a sideline interview with our reporter, LUANAR programmes Coordinator Dr. Andy Safalaoh said currently LUANAR does not mainstream child labour, however, plans are underway to mainstream it in its programmes.

“As LUANAR we are training specialists in various fields some of them who also work in estates or plantations so we want them to better understand child labour, its causes and consequences so that they can be able to develop interventions which can contribute to elimination of child labour,” said Dr Safalaoh.

He said once the child labour is mainstreamed in the LUANAR curriculum, it means each programme will be introducing child labour in its courses.

“We want to mainstream it in every course so that during the introduction in the first year, just like HIV/AIDs course, the child labour can be one of the core courses which can be introduced in first year so that every student understands it,” said Dr Safalaoh.

He said LUANAR also plans to have a workshop for members of staff to better understand causes and effects of child labour so that they should be able to cover it in their courses.

In his remarks, International Labour Organisation (ILO) National Project Coordinator, Mr. Patrick Makondetsa commended LUANAR for taking part in the fight against child and forced labour saying this is a positive development for the nation.

“Previously child labour was looked at as something that does not concern academics but now that the universities are coming up with research about it, it is really a positive development,” said Mr. Makondetsa.

He added that students that will be graduating from LUANAR will be able to deal with child labour and once they join the industries they will be able to know negative effects of child labour hence will take part in the fight against it.

He further said that his organization supported LUANAR to strengthen the research component of the program to ensure that the University empowers the students with knowledge and skills to handle child labour once they graduate.

Deputy Labour Commissioner in the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Wafwile Musukwa said what LUANAR is doing in mainstreaming child labour is complimenting government efforts in fighting child and forced labour.

“Child labour is everybody’s business, everyone has to participate if we are to eliminate it in this country. Therefore what LUANAR is doing is greatly appreciated,” said Mr Musukwa.

Research shows that child labour has existed in Malawi for a long time. It goes on to state that it part of the Malawian culture to have children assist their parents in the home and it was not until late 1890’s that child labour formalised (University of Malawi).