June 12 marks World Day Against Child Labour. At Inherit Your Rights, this is an important day as a big part of our legal rights curriculum focuses on child welfare including education and labour rights.
At Inherit Your Rights we believe in advocating for the rights of children and the laws that protect them within Tanzania. Children should be allowed to be children and be able to grow, thrive, learn and play, without the burden of working.
Sadly, the Tanzania Mainland National Child Labour Survey in 2016 found that 29.3% of 5 – 14 year old children were engaged in child labour including agriculture, mining, quarrying, and domestic work.
All children in Tanzania have the right to an education, and it is actually required by law for all children to complete at least primary school. To ensure that all children have equal access to a high quality education, Tanzanian law guarantees certain education rights:
Non-discrimination: Schools, administrators, communities, or the government cannot discriminate against a child or prevent them from attending any school based on their gender, religion, political persuasion, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, national origin, HIV/AIDS status or other health status, or any other quality
Fair discipline: While teachers are permitted to use corporal punishment in schools, it should only be in very serious cases, and the maximum punishment allowed is four strokes with a thin stick. Many international laws prohibit corporal punishment.
Free education: Tuition fees have been abolished for all government primary schools, although there are still costs for books, uniforms, exam fees, and other expenses.
These laws help protect the rights of children to ensure they can stay in school for longer. When children can stay in school for longer the benefits are unsurprisingly significant – it provides a solid and healthy foundation for stronger personal, social and economic development and feeds into long term goals around poverty eradication and human rights.
Eradicating child labour is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 which calls on the global community to end child labour in all its forms by 2025.
Unfortunately the reality for families in poor communities means there are situations where a young person may need to, or wish to work for financial reasons. However, in addition to the basic rights of all workers, there are additional rights for employees under the age of 18 to ensure that child workers are not being mistreated or exploited.
In order to be employ a child, an employer cannot:
Employ a child who is under 14 years old or has not completed at least a primary school education
Employ a child to do work that is hazardous to their health or development
Prevent a child from attending school
Force a child to perform labour or pay them less than a fair wage
Require a child to work more than six hours a day or at night
Employ a child for sexually exploitative work of any kind
Would you like to find out more in child labour rights, or have a legal issue to discuss with us? Contact us today on +255 715 164 118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org