Malawi

ILO, TUM partner to eliminate child labour through school improvements and access to education

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The project aims at accelerating the elimination of child labour in global supply chains in Africa.

Lilongwe, 1st October 2021 – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) have entered into a new partnership to accelerate the fight against child labour in Malawi through school improvements and better access to education. The partnership, valued at more than MWK 150 million (circa. USD 185,000), has been established under the ILO ‘ACCEL Africa’ project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands. The project aims at accelerating the elimination of child labour in global supply chains in Africa. The new partnership provides for ILO technical and financial support to TUM for school improvements and better access to education for child labourers and children at risk of child labour in tea and coffee growing communities in five districts in the country, namely Chitipa, Mulanje, Mzimba, Ntchisi and Thyolo.

“This partnership comes at a critical time, as COVID-19 has contributed to rising rates of school dropouts, including because of the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, as well as periodic school closures. Some of the children who have dropped out of school as a result have become involved in child labour. As TUM, this is something that gravely concerns us. Indeed, the TUM Statement of Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct for Teachers identifies child labour as a crosscutting issue that our organization needs to play a role in addressing,” said Mr. Charles Kumchenga, the Secretary-General of TUM.

“Through this new partnership, the International Labour Organization will provide technical and financial support to the Teachers Union of Malawi to implement innovative solutions to address child labour, including rollout of the ILO’s Supporting Children’s Rights through Education the Arts and the Media (SCREAM) programme in 20 primary schools in the five targeted districts. The partnership will also enable TUM to support access to education for at least 1,000 child labourers and children at risk of child labour,” said Mr. George Okutho, the Director of the ILO Country Office for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 countries to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. Malawi has been a member of the ILO since 1965. The Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) represents and aims to unite all teachers in Malawi, and is an affiliate of the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU).

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Contact:

Dylan Van Tromp, Senior Project Officer, ACCEL Africa, International Labour Organization (ILO) vantromp@ilo.org +265 99 007 8377

Charles Kumchenga, Secretary General, Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM), secretariat@tummw.com