Actions urged in Tanzania to tackle poverty, end child labor

Actions should be taken to tackle the underlying poverty that leads to child labour, officials from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have urged, Xinhua reported.
   Susan Bissell, UNICEF chief of Child Protection, made the appeal in Dar es Salaam on Thursday ahead of the World Day against Child Labor on June 12, the leading local English daily Guardian reported on Saturday.
   She noted that improving access to quality education, particularly for girls in poor and rural settings, was a key part of an effective overall approach, alleging that many of the estimated 100 million girls involved in child labor around the world undertake similar types of work as boys, but often also endure additional hardships and face extra risks.
   Bissell added that the public does not see domestic work done in other households, which exposes young girls to other dangers and risks, while cultural and socio-economic factors influence a family's decision to send girls to school.
   For his part, Alexio Musindo, ILO director for Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia, said the worst forms of child labor include practices such as selling or trafficking children, the forced recruitment of child soldiers, using or offering children for prostitution or the production of pornography, and using, procuring or offering children for illicit activities or any other activities likely to harm children.
   Musindo noted that girls, orphans, street children and the out- of-school population were the most exploited, adding that improving schooling for children from poor communities, ensuring the availability of flexible and properly funded education programmes for child laborers and other marginalized children, and abolishing tuition fees in primary education are ways to address the conditions that can lead to child labour.
   He warned that the current global economic and financial crisis threatens to derail the positive progress made during recent years in boosting access to education and reducing child labor.
   While many countries have reached the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education, in many other countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, primary and secondary school attendance rates continue to be low, Musindo cautioned.
   Some 50 countries worldwide hold events to celebrate the World Day Against Child Labor. The celebrations, under the theme: "Give Girls a Chance: End Child Labour," further stressed the need to intensify advocacy on equal access and opportunities in educating girls and ensuring they attained higher completion levels in education.

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