Themicroloanfoundation's Blog


Child Trafficking in Malawi:Can MicroLoan help?
June 14, 2010, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The ministry of Labour report have shown that there are 1.4 million child workers in Malawi especially in tea plantations and domestic servitude. The report shows that the situation is worse in rural areas than in provincial towns. A village headman Gomani, agreed with the report, explaining that most of the children work to support their poverty stricken families. According to Gomani, “these are children born from very poor families whereby their parents even fail to provide them daily food. The report adds that many boys are trafficked for working in tobacco plantations and animal herding, while girls are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation or working in bars and restaurants.

People from rural Malawi usually have no knowledge of what child trafficking is all about. Parents are easily tricked by some people who promise that they will offer the children some work, but end up forcing them into prostitution and criminal gangs. Most of the parents are offered money, clothes and sometimes told lies that their children are going to be sent to schools and work in good jobs in towns and cities, not knowing that they are selling their children. In response, the government spent more than US$2 million in 2008 in effort to eliminate child labour, intensify labour inspections, raise awareness through campaigning and community action, and provide agricultural assistance and money transfers to rural families. According to the report, the government wants to sensitize poor rural families on the dangers of giving out their children without knowing exactly where they are being taken to.

I believe that MicroLoan Foundation’s a grassroots development approach to poverty alleviation is a useful way to preemptively address many human rights abuses originating from extreme poverty. Abusive child labor is an example of a human rights issue that could preemptively be addressed using a grassroots development approach because it tends to exist in the most impoverished parts of the world, as indicated in the Malawi report. With the help of MicroLoan, fewer women in rural Malawi would face the impossible choice of keeping their children at home and suffering food shortages, or sending them away with strangers, who may exploit them.

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