Factors Influencing Child Labour in the Sugarcane Growing Projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya
The levels of child labour in Awendo sub-county falls between 10-15%.This is very high considering that the ILO puts a red flag on any child labour levels above 8%. Moreover, the latest recorded dropout rate from secondary schools in Awendo Sub-county stands at 35.4%. Since sugarcane growing is the main economic activity in the Sub-county, could child labour be linked to the sugarcane growing Projects and the high drop-out rates? This is the gap that the study sought to fill by evaluating the factors influencing child labour in the sugarcane growing Projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya. The objectives that guided the study include: to establish how socio-economic support influences child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya; to determine how cultural support influences child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya; to assess how psycho-social support influence child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya; and to examine how economic development influences child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya. This research study focused on children aged seven to seventeen years. The theory of subsistence poverty anchors this study. A cross sectional descriptive survey research design was adopted because it focused to collect data at one point in time. The respondents were the members of households in Awendo Sub-County; who were supplied with questionnaires with the aim of getting their views regarding factors affecting child labour. The study adopted Krecjie and Morgan technique to obtain sample size of 378 from a total of 23,860 households. The researcher conducted a pilot study in Muhoroni Sub-county on a sample consisting of 10% of the respondents. The researcher employed self-administration approach of data collection. Descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation were adopted. From the descriptive statistics, the research revealed that socio-economic support had a mean of 3.8 which denotes large extent; cultural support had a mean of 3.0 which denotes medium extent; psycho-social support had a mean of 3.5 which denotes large extent; economic development had a mean of 3.5 which denotes large extent. Therefore, the result of automated data analysis (SPSS) reveals that socio-economic support, cultural support, psycho-social support and economic development can be held responsible for the fluctuations in child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Awendo Sub-county, Kenya. Conclusively, government and sugar board in Kenya should implement policies that will check on improved standards of employment in sugar companies in order to limit employment of under age child workers. This study recommends that: the government of Kenya strengthens the sugar companies to come up with measures that promote better employment packages; with a possible measure to cushion children from working in sugar plantations through stringent systems and policies. The researcher recommends a further research on the impact of community support systems on child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Kenya and the effect of drugs on child labour in the sugarcane growing projects in Kenya.
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