Provincial Committee to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labour Set Up, Thanks to Advocacy and Support from World Vision.

Members committee, authorities and partners photo after ceremony
Friday, July 14, 2023

By Francine Lukusa, Advocacy Manager

World Vision DRC has actively supported and advocated for children's participation in the appointment process of members for the protection structure against the worst forms of child labour. The goal is to encourage Haut-Katanga provincial authorities to take concrete and realistic actions to combat and eliminate all forms of child labour.

"The reality is serious because every evening and every night, many children lose their lives. They are exposed to many illnesses and risks because sometimes they are chased by security guards. The aim of this installation is to put an end to this scourge because children are the future of this country... Dear authorities, I appeal to everyone's conscience because as long as we take a minute, a second to think, children are dying in the mining quarries..."

Pleads Jenovic Mathadi, a former child working in the mine quarry, is currently a Children's Committee member.

With the support of the International Labour Office - Acceleration Laboratory 8.7 and World Vision, the provincial government has installed the members of the Provincial Committee and the Permanent Technical Secretariat of this structure for protection against child labour. This structure brings together members from several sectors (agriculture, environment, mining, human rights, education, health, children's court, etc.), employers' and workers' organisations, civil society organisations, professional organisations and children's committees.

 "The fight against child labour will become a reality at the end of this ceremony because the Governor's firm commitment led to the signing of 3 decrees, the first of which dates from 2021, on the creation and functioning of the Provincial Committee, and two other decrees from 2022, appointing the members of the Provincial Committee and the members of the Provincial Technical Secretariat respectively", explained Mr Nkumwimba Mwanana, Provincial Head of Division for Social Affairs in Haut-Katanga province.

The government has undertaken to allocate the resources needed to run the Permanent Secretariat and implement the provincial action plan to combat the worst forms of child labour. "For performance reasons, this Committee will have a budget capable of supporting the planned actions that go with the mission assigned to the Provincial Committee", emphasised Mr John Muloba Kitonge, Provincial Minister of Finance for Haut-Katanga province and representative of the Governor at the ceremony.

According to the International Labour Organisation, between 2016 and 2020, the number of children aged between 5 and 11 working in mines increased by almost 9 million. This situation has been exacerbated by Covid-19.  These members, who have taken up their duties, complete the installation of structures to monitor child labour and exploitation in the DRC.

The setting up of this committee is the result of advocacy work undertaken by World Vision and other partners in the child protection sector through discussions with children and the authorities, the main aim of which is to set up and strengthen structures to combat the worst forms of child labour in the DRC in general and in the province of Haut-Katanga in particular.

-As a reminder, in June 2014, World Vision with the support of other partners (Unicef, ILO, Alternative Plus) had financially and technically supported the validation workshop of the Provincial Action Plan to combat the worst forms of child labour. This work was the starting point for the fight against the worst forms of child labour in Haut-Katanga.

-In 2021, the Provincial Governor signed Order No. 2021/008/Haut-Katanga of 13 February 2021, establishing and organising the Provincial Committee to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labour (CP-PFTE).

-In August 2022, World Vision began the process of reactivating the aforementioned decree, which was not being applied, by contacting the Provincial Division of Social Affairs and the Provincial Commissariat for Employment, Labour and Social Welfare to support the process of appointing the members of the Committee and the permanent secretariat by the Provincial Governor.

-On 25 October 2022, the orders appointing the members of the Permanent Provincial Technical Secretariat and the Provincial Committee for Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour were signed by the Governor of Haut-Katanga Province. The members of these bodies were installed on 24 June 2023.