LUCKNOW, INDIA – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has cited extreme poverty, lack of education, conflict and instability, as the drivers of child labour in the world.
Kadaga noted that in a home where the basics of life cannot be met, children become part of the labour force to sustain the family and that is partly why children work at stone crushing sites, factories and as domestic labour.
“In rural areas, children almost automatically become part of the domestic labour force for example in agriculture because it is the livelihood of the family,” Kadaga said adding “Indeed, many must work to contribute even to their school fees. In those circumstances, it is difficult to draw a line between forced labour and family occupation.”
The Speaker was presenting a paper to Chief Justices of the world on the topic “Combating child labour in modern societies: A challenge towards the welfare of humanity and future generations.” The Justices are meeting in Lucknow, India, from 6-12 November 2019 for the 20th International Conference of Chief Justices of the World organized by City Montessori School.
Kadaga proposed that to combat the vice, governments should take bold steps to enact legislation on child labour and for world leaders to make commitments to the enforcement of the conventions of the Rights of the Child. She observed that by having legislation on child labour, one would then be able to determine whether the nature of work is risky and hazardous.
Speaking on the same occasion, Chief Justice of Swaziland, Bheki Maphalala, urged delegates to promote the ideals of Dr Jagdish Ghandi as enshrined in Article 51 of the Constitution of India. The Article, which talks about promotion of international peace and security, asks States to: promote international peace and security; maintain just and honourable relations between nations; foster respect for international law and encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
“The more voices singing this song of peaceful co-existence of nations, the more the world will stand up and listen to us all,” Justice Maphalala said.
As part of the resolutions of the Conference, Members of the world judiciary were urged to persuade their respective national governments to take steps to introduce instruction in citizenship education, peace education and cross-cultural understanding in all schools.