Child labor constitutes abuse and prevents children from receiving education and other development opportunities, said President Cyril Ramaphosa. .
Children are protected by the constitution from neglect, abuse and degradation, and corporations cannot justify advancing their interests at the expense of children’s rights, Ramaphosa told delegates at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labor recently.
“There should be no apology, explanation or justification for the use of child labor,” Ramaphosa said. “The SA Constitution promotes the rights of every child to protection from exploitative labor practices. This includes that no age-appropriate work or services may be carried out.
„Such work practices rob children of their childhood. They deny them the opportunity to be explorers and learners, to develop and fulfill their potential. They deny them the opportunity to play, to just be children,” he added.
Ramaphosa said that depriving children of education and other developmental opportunities is only to continue the cycle of poverty. He expressed his concern about children working on farms in exchange for the right to live there with their families, and children being bought and sold for sex.
< span>“No economy can consider itself a forerunner of progress if its success and wealth has been built on the backs of children,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said high unemployment and poverty threaten efforts to eliminate child labor. He said child and other grants are some of the solutions that should be explored to end exploitative labor.