As many as 86,000 children are working in mines in Madagascar, an International Labour Organisation (ILO) official has revealed, adding that some of them work to help parents in sapphires or gold careers.
The latest data published by the ILO bureau shows that 28 per cent of the children in Madagascar, aged between five and 17, are engaged in household work, mining, carriage, prostitution, farming and restaurant service, reported Xinhua.
The findings prompted the ILO to launch a project to tackle child labour by encouraging education between September 2012 and May 2013 in the Southwestern region of the island country, said Ntsay Christian, the ILO representative to Madagascar.
Today, the ILO’s educational project has enabled 830 children, aged six to 15, to attend school, 500 children to resume school learning and 80 to have vocational training, he added.
According to the law in Madagascar, anyone employing children can be slapped a fine of 1 million to 3 million Ariary (about $500 to $1,500) and with up to three years of imprisonment.
Madagascar, lying off the Southeastern coast of Africa, is the fourth largest island in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo. It is known around the world for its rich biodiversity and tropical rainforests.
The country, having a legal system based on French civil law and traditional Malagasy laws, is home to five per cent of the world’s species, many of which are native only to Madagascar.