The United Nations in Zambia expresses its deep sorrow at the death of three children, aged as young as eleven years old, in Zambia’s Luapula Province on Saturday during a mining accident.
“We are profoundly saddened to hear of the death of these three children, in circumstances where they appeared to be working in a manganese mine,” said Ms Janet Rogan, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia. “No child should be forced to work. Child labour is preventable, not inevitable. Every child should be free to enjoy their rights to education, protection and recreation. Every child has the right to a childhood, and to receive protection from unsafe environments. Children need to be removed immediately from the worst forms of child labour and provided with care and education.”
The United Nations family in Zambia offers its heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, and pledges continued support to the Government of Zambia to improve education, child protection, labour standards and economic development. Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 which provides that States take “immediate and effective measures to…secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”
UNDP, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO) work in Zambia to improve conditions for children and young people, and enhance labour laws, regulation and workplace protection. Last week, UNODC launched a new project in Zambia to combat trafficking in persons including those involved forced labour and sex trafficking.