AECL WORKING FOR A CHILD LABOUR FREE MALAWI BACKGROUND by birdmandaddy

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									                                        AECL

         WORKING FOR A CHILD LABOUR FREE MALAWI


BACKGROUND

The Association for Elimination of Child Labour (AECL) was formed and registered
under a Trustees Incorporation Act in June, 2001.

The AECL was established under the background that there was an intense outcry on the
use of child labour in Malawi; particularly in the commercial agriculture.

Concerned with the development and to safeguard the future of Malawian children,
various organizations from the NGO fraternity, government, agricultural sector, trade
unions and their organizations, employers and their organizations, traditional leaders and
the private sector agreed to come up with combined force to combat child labour. Thus
AECL was formed as one of the institutional framework.

Concerned with the development and to safeguard the future of Malawian children,
various organizations from the NGO fraternity, government, agricultural sector, trade
unions and their organizations, employers and their organizations, traditional leaders and
the private sector agreed to come up with combined force to combat child labour. Thus
AECL was formed as one of the institutional framework.

AECL had implemented a two year project with funding from Elimination of Child
Labour in Tobacco Foundation, foundation based in Geneva, Swirtzerland. That project
had run from March 2003 to June 2005. Currently, the Association is implementing a one
year project beginning February 2007 with funding from Human Rights Consultative
Committee.


MISSION STATEMENT
AECL’s mission is to eliminate child labour in Malawi and foster a conducive
environment that protect and promote the rights of children, giving them the best chance
in all aspects of life.



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To achieve its mission statement, AECL operations are guided by a number of objectives
and a principal aim is to strengthen the private, NGOs, Traditional and Community
sectors’ response on the problem of child labour.

VISION
The vision of AECL is “Working for child labour free Malawi”


PROJECT OVERALL OBJECTIVE
The Project overall objective is to reduce child labour through promoting school
attendance. It also aims at promoting quality, accessible and affordable learning facilities.
The Emphasis is on the importance of education as one of the best interventions to
combat child labour.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
AECL’s objectives are:

   To promote the fight against child labour in Malawi in all forms.

   To develop and monitor the implementation of programmes of action for the fight
   against and the combat of child labour.

   To raise the profile of Association and raise public awareness on the problem / evils
   of child labour.

   To work closely with government, non-governmental organizations, and the private
   sector on all matters relating to child labour and promote networking among all
   stakeholders of child labour elimination.

   To advocate for and recommend appropriate legislation and the enforcement thereof,
   for the protection of children from child labour practices.

   To monitor with a view to improving the situation of working children.

   To carry out fund raising activities and mobilize resources for the implementation of
   child labour elimination programmes.



ACTIVITIES
1. The AECL had a School Construction Project in Nkhotakota at Traditional Authority
   Mwansambo, which is called Tadwe LEA Primary School. The school has two


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   blocks of two class rooms each, an administration block, three teachers houses, Three
   single pit latrines for the teachers houses, three double holes pit latrines for class
   rooms and the staff (teachers), a borehole and playing grounds for football and
   netball.

2. Training of children, parents, local leaders, landlords, workers (tenants), Village and
   Area Development Committees, Child Labour Committees and District Executive
   Committee.

3. Public awareness meetings that advocate for access and affordable free education
   system, promotion of child rights and fight against child labour.

4. Commemorating World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) that falls on 12th June
   every year.

5. Development of strategic plan for the AECL Roadmap.

6. Visit to stakeholders to enhance networking and sharing of experiences

7. Follow-ups and child labour monitoring


COLLABORATING PARTNERS

AECL is working in partnership with all mentioned above and including these below:

   Child Labour Control Unit.(MOL)
   Child Labour Network
   ECLT Foundation
   Malawi Congress of Trade Unions
   Tobacco Association of Malawi
   Tobacco Tenants & Allied Workers Union of Malawi
   Employers Consultative Association of Malawi
   Ministry of Labour & Social Development
   Civil Society Coalition on Quality Basic Education ( CSCQBE)
   Ministry of Women & Child Development
   Ministry of Education and Vocational Training
   Ministry of Trade and Industry
   Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC)
   ILO/IPEC Malawi Programme and
   CONGOMA

The Tadwe Child Labour School Project aimed at a gradual elimination of child labour
by providing better access to school, raising awareness on education and child labour,
organizing and training communities to be better positioned to eliminate child labour.




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The school has considerably reduced the distance from home to school for children in the
school catchment’s areas and it are very clear that the setting up of the school was
relevant and an appropriate response.

The school was built of good standards and it goes beyond the average design and quality
of schools in Malawi and in particular Tadwe’s nearby schools. However the school only
goes up to standard four (4) and there is a problem of not going up to standard 8, hence
there is a danger that children may have to walk long distances to schools after standard 4
to schools that offer up to standard 8 should this happen , this will be self defeating for
the project.. Therefore there is need to build more classroom blocks.

The project sought to create an alternative for the parents in relation to the food security
and welfare situation of children and families. In that regard it facilitated training to both
landlords and tenant farmers on better methods of farming to improve their yields. As
such Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET) cultivated the thinking that
farming is a business and that child labour was/is counter-productive.


2      CHILD RIGHTS AND ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOUR PROJECT


The current project is to run for a twelve–month period beginning February 2007. The
project had been set to consolidate the success stories and lessons learnt during the first
project. The project had changed its approach from general sensitization and training to
human rights based approach, where the community have been involved at every stage of
the programmatic activities. More special, is the active involvement of children
themselves for the very beginning.

The project has prevented 1314 pupils in the impact district of T/A Mwadzama and
Mwansambo as recorded in the month of May 2007. The project has also actively
involved other keystakeholders on the ground such that the continuity of the activities
will rest in the communities and the local key players such as NICE, CILIC and
FAWEMA.

LESSONS LEARNT

       With a balanced approach to all critical stakeholders on child rights and child
       labour issues, it was/is possible to contribute at local level to put in place
       mechanisms in the form of child labour committees to reduce child labour.
       It had been possible to create the alternative of basic education to child labourers
       on the tobacco estates and other workplaces.
       It had been possible to create awareness on the dangers of child labour to the
       growth and development of the school going age groups.
       It had been possible for civil society and interested action groups to engage
       government authorities in taking positive action to stem child labour in tobacco
       estates thereby creating a model of how to handle such sensitive social issues



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      where children contribute to families’ income at the detrimental of their
      education.
      The dilemma of removing children from work without providing an offsetting
      income for families and children have been addressed but not solved.
      The project(s) mobilized the community in terms of setting up and empowering
      local community structures to be a driving force for the project. The community
      further demonstrated their interest for the school attendance of more pupils /by
      providing labour to prepare the school grounds for children have recreational
      facilities and conducting door to door campaigns using gule wamkulu, school
      management committees and local child labour committees.
      The composition of the Board brought together employers, trade unions, tobacco
      growers, exporters and people in the background of finance.
      The project took on board key government departments and traditional leaders at
      district level in its implementation.

AECL Board of Trustees Members

    Mr. Naphtal Patrick Mtema           –       Chairperson

    Senior Chief E.N. Kaomba            -       Vice Chairman

    Mr. Patrick Chisala                 -       Treasurer

    Mr. Austin Kalimanjira              -       Secretary

    Mr. Vicent F. Sinjani               -       Vice Secretary

    Mr. Z.K.M. Zimba                    -       Member

    Mr. Amin Mponda Lungu               -       Member

    Principal Secretary - Ministry of Labour & Social Development - Ex-.Official

    Principal Secretary- Ministry of Women and Child Development - Ex. Official

    Principal Secretary- Ministry of Trade & Private Sector Development- Ex-Official




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