The relationship between the social and economic status of Families and Child labour in Kenya. A study of tea Plantations in Limuru division, Kiambu District
Kamaara, Mary W.
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In spite of legislations against child labour at various levels, the problem persists denying children their basic rights. In Kenya it is estimated that 1.9 million children aged between 5 a 'id 17 years provide labour in the various spheres. Despite the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 138 abolishing child labour it continues unabated. This study is concerned with the relationship between the social and economic status of families and child labour in Limuru Division, Kiambu District. It focuses on three aspects the characteristics, factors and consequences of child labour. The specific questions which this study has addressed are: (a) Is child labour related to the economic status of the child's family? (b) Does child labour contribute to the family's income? -,. (c) Is the health of the children affected by child labour? (d) Does child labour affect the education of the child? A total of 83 children were selected through the purposive non-probability sampling technique. The· key instrument for data collection was a structured interview guide which was administered on the children. Apart from the structured interviews, other data collection methods included direct observation, indepth interviews with the key informants, and review of available records/ documents. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. v It was found that the education system in the past forced most of the children (62%) to work to enable them to pay school fees. Today with the government's decree on compulsory free primary education these children have continued to work during the weekends and school holidays to supplement family income. Child labour has contributed to poor health of the children in which it is shown that 55% had ailments related to their work. They work in poor conditions in cold weather without protective clothing, unbalanced meals, long hours of work and poor living conditions. \ From the findings we can conclude that child labour has a negative impact on the education and health of the children. It was established that 45% of the families were female-headed and most of them had large families ranging from 3 to 6 children. This ultimately forced the children to work to supplement the family income and enable them to buy clothes and school uniforms. Deriving from the findings and conclusions of this study it is recommended that in order to combat child labour, the gove;nment should look at the underlying cause which is poverty and implement poverty eradication measures. The education policy also needs to be implemented. Legislations drawn up against child labour must be enforced. There is need for further participatory research on the success of the free primary education (FPE) and the 2001 Policy on Child Labour. These would go a long way in combating child labour in Kenya
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-description-sponsorshipThe University of Nairobi
Department of Sociology
SubjectSocial and economic status of families and child labour in Kenya
Tea Plantations in Limuru division, Kiambu District.