By: Macy Janine Pamaranglas – Art in Tanzania human rights internship program
Advocating against Child labour in Tanzania as par of the Human Rights volunteering and internship program in Tanzania
Life as a kid in Tanzania is more challenging than people presume. The poverty there causes children, the future of Tanzania, to become labourers. Need overcomes all their wants as they need necessities for their families to survive. In Tanzania, around 4.2 million children between the ages of 5 – 17 are working as child labourers.
Despite all the amenities given by the government to the people in Tanzania, families have to make their children go and work due to financial difficulties. Therefore, children and mothers work as labourers in tough jobs such as stone mining to earn a living. Furthermore, there is a lack of rain, so many families rely on agriculture as their source of income. Therefore, they are forced to work as labourers and their children in stone mining.
In Tanzania, children work as labourers and are forced to quit school because of their hardships. The children working are in the age groups of 5–17, and some go to school in the morning and work during the night, and some quit school and work full time, like from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. late in the evening. If the situation is too bad, they have to work till they can make buckets of stones worth 4000–5000 according to their necessity for that day.
These children don’t have the everyday lifestyle that a child gets, which they, too, deserve. Most days, even with all the work, they don’t even get three meals. After all the work till late in the evening, they wake up the next day only to realize they don’t have breakfast, giving them the energy they need to work. Like every other kid, these kids also dream of becoming an officer or a doctor. But due to their school situation, they can’t. They could not afford the uniforms and shoes for the school. Some children give up on dreaming of going to school because they think they will not get any help.
On top of child labour being an unfair act which is still evident in many places like Tanzania, these children get paid very little even though they work a lot. Even worse, some days, they don’t even get paid. It is not relevant to them whether they are not well or can’t work due to any medical situation; they wake up every day and go to work because many of their parents also have medical problems, which makes it impossible for them to work.