Child labour in Botswana

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Little is known about the nature and extent of child labour in Botswana, although recent studies have shown that the phenomenon does occur in the country.

Between 2006 and 2008 the country has been in the process of formulating the National Action Programme towards the Elimination of Child Labour in Botswana, which was nationally endorsed in February 2008.[1] This was drafted with the assistance of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) programme Towards the Elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour.

A Programme Advisory Committee on Child Labour (PACC), representing government departments, organised labour and business, and civil society guides the development and implementation of the programme.

The different elements of process are described in this article.

Botswana ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention in 1997 (C138) and the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (C182) in 2000. In addition, the country also ratified both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 1995.

Botswana’s Employment Act is the principal law governing employment-related matters in Botswana. It protects children against exploitation and hazardous employment, defined as any work that is dangerous to the child’s health, development and morals. The Act defines a child as a person under the age of 15 years, and a young person as a person who has attained the age of 15 years but is under the age of 18 years.