WINDHOEK – Large numbers of young people in Southern Africa do not attend school and at least 675 children under the age of 15 years from poor families are forced to work to contribute to household income.
According to the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer report launched this week hundreds of children aged between seven and 14 work in SADC.
Malawi has the highest proportion with 95 children aged between seven and 14 reported to be working, denying them an education.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recorded 83 children of whom 44 are female and 39 are male.
Zambia is reported to have 75 children in the same age category who are employed. Out of this, 40 are female and 35 are male. Tanzania recorded 34 females and 35 males, while Mozambique has 28 females and 27 males.
Comoros has 28 females and 26 males, Madagascar has 27 females and 29 males, Angola has 25 females and 22 males, while Lesotho has 21 females and 25 males, while Zimbabwe has 14 females and 12 males.
Namibia has 12 females and 15 males, eSwatini has nine females and 15 males, and Botswana has the lowest at seven females and 11 males.
The statistics obtained from the World Bank were updated in April 2018, according to the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer report. Data was not available for Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa.
Progress to eliminate child labour has stalled in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) found that child labour increased between 2012 and 2016 due to economic and demographic changes as well as crisis and state fragility.
“Most children work in the agricultural sector, often for members of their own family,” according to information provided in the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer report.