Preparations are in place for the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour which President Cyril Ramaphosa will open at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Sunday.
It’s the first time that the conference will be hosted in Africa. This will be done in collaboration between the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and the Employment and Labour Department.
The ILO says more than 160-million children globally are labourers, while over half of them range between the ages of five and 11.
The department’s Siyabonga Hadebe says although there are laws against child and forced labour, members of the public need to heighten their efforts of reporting such incidents.
“It’s not easy to deal with this problem because we rely on members of the public to come forward and report on these issues, but when our labour inspectors do go out out and visit companies and other areas, they do find children but that is only a small number. At the moment it doesn’t even look like many people are aware of the law itself that says children under the age of 15 are not suppose to work those children are suppose to be at school.”
Child labour around the world:
Child labour around the world by SABC Digital News
The Employment and Labour Department says security will be tightened during the Conference.
At least 2 000 delegates from over 180 countries are expected. Hadebe says the delegates will include heads of state, labour experts and representatives of labour unions.
“We are working with the security cluster under the leadership of the national South African Police Service management and all measures are in place and we’ve got hundreds of the police deployed in the city.
Whatever happens would be quite unfortunate but we always advise people that they need to act with caution. As far as we have been told the members of the security cluster everything is in place. The event has been categorised as medium risk because we have international guests and high level people. But we don’t foresee any major problems.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa will open the Conference: