Botswana’s Minister of Labor and Home Affairs Anna Mokgethi has said child labor is prevalent in the country’s three sectors — agriculture, livestock and domestic work in urban areas involving young girls.
Child labor mostly occurs because of lack of knowledge and cultural misperceptions regarding distinctions between child labor and children’s daily chores, Mokgethi said Tuesday at the Joint Regional Child Rights Conference and the Children’s Helplines Summit in Gaborone, the capital.
“Botswana recognizes child labor as a gross violation of human rights because it hinders the proper growth of children as they miss crucial stages of their development,” she said. “This may lead to lifelong physical or psychological damage.”
“Child labor perpetuates poverty across generations by keeping the children of the poor out of school and limiting their prospects for upward social mobility. This is wrong and it must end,” Mokgethi said.
She said that Botswana has ratified the International Labor Organization’s Labor Inspection Convention and the Labor Inspection (Agriculture) Convention.
In addition, her ministry has provided comprehensive information on its labor law enforcement efforts and conducted targeted inspections in districts where there were reports of child labor, Mokgethi said.
“We will protect our children from physical and emotional harm as well as inhuman and degrading treatment,” she added.