CHILD LABOUR SUPPLEMENT
By Stella Naigino
Allan Kintu is only 12 years old but adept at selling mangoes. He lives with his parents in Ndaiga village in Mayuge district. His parents asked him to sell mangoes by the roadside to supplement the family income. He dropped out of school and is not keen to return to class.
“I prefer selling mangoes because here, I get some money to buy food at home. When I go to school, I stay hungry all day and even when I return home, I ind little or no food at all,” Kintu says.
He adds that he does not miss school because he is not the only one who has been asked to sell mangoes. Kintu says his parents always promise to take him back to school, but whenever the school term starts, he is sent to sell mangoes and sometimes tomatoes. Although Kintu is working to support his family, experts refer to what he is doing as child labour.
Experts deine child labour as any work that children get involved in and is harmful to their physical and mental development. Such work denies children their right to proper childhood, good education, safety and protection during their growth.
Uganda is commemorating the World Day against Child Labour today under the theme: Children should not work in the ields, but on their dreams. The national celebrations are being held at Madibira Primary School grounds in Busia district.
The theme resonates with the idea that children should be at school learning, instead of being in coffee, tea and sugarcane plantations wasting away. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY