December 10 is recognised internationally as Human Rights Day. As part of its commemoration of this day for 2014, Hivos in Southern Africa wants to raise awareness on child labour and the efforts being carried out to eradicate the practice locally, regionally and internationally.
In partnership with the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Zimbabwe, Women’s University in Africa, the Coalition Against Child Labour, the International Labour Organisation Country Office (ILO) and UNICEF, Hivos will contribute to a series of events between 1 October and 12 December that focus on eliminating child labour.
A preliminary event was held on 7 November, the Child Labour Awareness ‘Fun Run’ in the Child Labour Free Zone of Chiredzi, followed by the launch of the public campaign in Harare on November 11, where partners and other stakeholders heard key speakers outline the extent of the child labour problem and the successes of the current programmes on the ground to end it.
Other events lined up will involve schoolchildren, district community leaders and government departments. These will include competitions in poster making, drama, poetry, music and traditional dance events in Masimbiti, Chiredzi, all pushing messages on ending child labour.
At the end of the Masimbiti commemorations, influential local actors and their counterparts from other parts of Zimbabwe will tour key facilities in the Child Labour Free Zone and witness directly how this community-based partnership and collaboration has changed the lives of hundreds of children in the area.
On December 11 and 12, the campaign partners will hold a Stop Child Labour Symposiumin Harare. This event will bring together stakeholders from all participating sectors to review local and global child labour issues.
A key focus of the symposium will be the importance of education as a key tool in the elimination of child labour.
It will also seek the pledge by all stakeholders, from policy makers to researchers and implementers, to renew their commitment to developing interventions that will guard against child labour as a practice in Zimbabwe.