An Analysis on child labour laws in Kenya; a quest for the best interests of the child
Tuwei, Chepchirchir Daisy
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Child labor continues to be widespread phenomena across the globe. Worldwide over 215 million children have been reported to be working many of them fulltime. Some of the regions that have recorded the highest numbers of child labourers include Asia and Sub- Saharan Africa. The ILO has taken initiative to ensure eradication of child labour. There is the ILO Convention 138 on Minimum Age of Employment that seeks to ensure children below a certain age are not engaged in child labour. ILO Convention 182 is on the Worst forms of Child labour its’ aim is to ensure that children are not engaged in hazardous activities that may be harmful to their health or may interfere with their education. The African Charter on Rights and Welfare of a Child has also outline the need for protection for children’s rights and encourages state parties to ensure that the best interests of a child prevails. Kenya has ratified all three instruments as an initiative to ensure children rights are protected. Various pieces of legislation such as the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Employment Act, Children’s’ act have provisions to ensure that child labour is eradicated. Despite all this pieces of legislation there is need for a child-centered policy on the elimination of Child Labour. Such a policy would take into account the nature of work done by the child and consider what is best for the child. This study will thus analyses the legal provisions on child labour and the steps taken by Kenya to fulfil its obligations. It will also give a recommendation on how to formulate a child centered policy to eradicate child labour and ensure the best interest of a child prevails.