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Child Labour Violation

Monday, August 07,2017
Published by Molebogeng Lebea
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Inset : street vendor at a tender age

Children as young as seven years are seen sitting the whole day at various points in informal areas and townships selling stuff whilst other children play and do what children do.

One of the children who is seen selling stuff at a street corner in Tembisa, is a nine year old boy. This child is seen at the street corner selling things from dawn, throughout the day until dark. The child is dropped off at the corner by adults who are perceived to be his parents. The child sits there the whole day during school holidays. Shockingly, some members of the community members reported that the child is sometimes seen at the street corner during school days. The child sits there under no proper shelter or umbrella. The little boy is just one of many children all around South Africa who are subject to such. All of this takes place openly and no government official or person ever seems to care if that constitutes child labour or not.

These children are deprived of their childhood through such practices. Children have to play, go to school and be treated as children in all matters. The Children’s Act define ‘child labour’ as “work by a child which is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for a person of that age and places at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health, emotional or social development…”

 In light of the situation in which these children find themselves in, it is apparent that most of the elements or aspects included in this definition of child labour are present and affected by the unfortunate practice of child labour. This then means child labour, a prohibited practice is practiced openly in most South African communities, and relevant officials as well as many community members are turning a blind eye.

These children are exploited and exposed to perils such as being harassed or kidnapped from the streets while labouring. Most importantly, they are deprived their constitutional right to play and proper social development, which will have a prodigious impact on their future. These children have a constitutional right to be protected from the situations they find themselves in, however, there seems to be no one assuming the role of upholding that right.

The community members said “the rights of the children are violated because they are not going to school anymore since they are sent to the streets to sell. Some responsible community members are alarmed by this occurrence.

Since the scope of child labour has been set out by the Children’s Act, the government must take necessary measures or steps to protect these children and secure the full enjoyment of their rights.”

2 Months ago 

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