LUSAKA, Apr. 15 - Labour Minister Patrick Kafumukache has warned commercial farmers against using child labour, saying his ministry has stiffened the law on employment of children.
Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache said changes to the law were just awaiting Parliament approval before being enforced.
He said this yesterday when he opened a two-day child labour workshop for ministry staff in Choma.
Col Kafumukache singled out Southern Province as the area leading in child labour, adding that most children had even stopped attending school.
The minister warned that the ministry would not spare any employers who would continue to use children as cheap labour for their profits because children's rights needed to be protected.
Col Kafumukache said there were a lot of people who believed that using children anyhow was part of their socialisation, but said that the law prohibited children under-14 years from being engaged in work that affected their future.
He said the fight against child labour was being hampered because abused children were victims of their relatives.
Col Kafumukache, however, said children should only be engaged in work that gave them survival skills for adult life.
He commended the International Labour Organisation (ILO) office in Lusaka for helping his ministry to eliminate child labour.
And ILO deputy director Sam Odera-Oteng said if child labour in Zambia remained unchecked, it would affect the quality of future leaders.