CHILD LABOUR

Child street hawking exposes them to crime at early age

SDGs provide four main policies to protect children from abuse

In Summary

• Hard economic times have pushed more families to the streets, some using their children to put food on the table. 

• They meet people who expose them to theft and crime, child prostitution, child pornography, abduction and worse, death through road accidents. 

A family on the street
VULNERABLE: A family on the street
Image: FILE

The current hard economic times have pushed more families to the streets. While this is the case, many parents have now resolved to use their children to make ends meet.

The children coax adults to buy sweets, groundnuts and chewing gums mostly in the evenings and weekends in most centres in Kenya. According to Unicef, sub-Saharan Africa has the largest proportion of child labourers aged five to 17 (29 per cent) and is considered detrimental to their health and development. Children are highly vulnerable.

Having them in the streets at a very young age, especially in the CBD where there is all manner of people will encourage other behaviours such as theft and crime, child prostitution, child pornography, abduction and worse, death through road accidents.

The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders in 2015 provide four main key policies related to child labour and eradicating it.

First, National Policy on the Elimination of Child Labor (2016) which proposes strategies to prevent, identify, withdraw, rehabilitate and reintegrate children involved in child labour.

The National Plan of Action against Sexual Exploitation of Children in Kenya (2013–17) that aims to prevent, protect, and reintegrate child victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Third, Framework for the National Child Protection System for Kenya (2011) describes the laws and policies that protect children from violence and exploitation and the roles of the government in this.

Finally, the County Integrated Development Plan serves as a guide for a county’s development planning processes which is required of all counties.

Mothers who give their children such duties should be traced to face the law.

 

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