PARENTS FACE ARREST

Child labour blamed for rise in Homa Bay street urchins

County commissioner accuses parents of interfering with the government’s 100 per cent school transition policy

In Summary

• Parents and guardians in Homa Bay have been warned guardians against engaging their children in labour.

• County commissioner Irungu Macharia directs chiefs to arrest parents who use children for labour.

Street children showcase their talents at a past function.
Street children showcase their talents at a past function.

Homa Bay parents and guardians have been warned against child labour.

The government has established a rise in the number of children engaging in income-generating activities such as fishing, sand harvesting and hawking, especially on Lake Victoria beaches. 

On Friday, county commissioner Irungu Macharia, while Homa Bay Bunge La Wenye Nchi in Posta Grounds, Homa Bay town, directed chiefs to arrest parents who fail to comply.

 

He blamed the activities for the influx of street children and deteriorating academic performance.

“The parents want to cut the cost of employing workers by putting their children to help them. This is wrong and chiefs and their assistants are directed to arrest the parents and have them charged in court,” Macharia said.

“It’s hard for a child who has been introduced to knowing the importance of money to concentrate on academics. The majority of them think of how they can make money, instead of focussing on classwork.” 

The meeting was attended by county director of children services Peter Kutere, county police commander Esther Seroney and county DCI boss Daniel Wachira, among other officers.

The county commissioner accused the parents who put their children to work of interfering with the government’s 100 per cent school transition policy.

He told parents to ensure their children's education is not interfered with.

“The government will not allow people to interfere with its programme of ensuring all children obtain basic education,” Macharia said.

 

Kutere and Seroney told residents to report cases of child abuse to the authorities.

“My office works together with the police in ensuring parents who do not take care of their children are arrested. Please, work with us in ensuring we eliminate child labour, teenage pregnancies and other vices affecting children,” Kutere said.

(Edited by F'Orieny)