Presidency yet to receive Amoomo’s letter on child labour concerns

Stefanus Nashama

Alfredo Hengari, the Presidential Press Secretary, stated that the presidency has not received a letter from lawyer Kadhila Amoomo, which addresses concerns about children selling wooden products and other items on the streets of Namibia.

“No, I did not receive the letter,” Hengari commented while also inquiring about the date the letter was sent. He suggested that the letter be forwarded to him via WhatsApp for review.

The letter in question was directed to President Nangolo Mbumba earlier this week by Amoomo, who raised issues regarding the apparent child labour crisis in Namibia.

Amoomo’s letter emphasized the violation of children’s rights, including protection from forced labor, economic exploitation, and hazardous work, as they sell wooden products, and other items, and beg for money, primarily in urban areas like Windhoek. Many of these children are reported to be from Angola.

Amoomo has been outspoken about this issue, labelling it a “child labour crisis on the streets of Namibia” and asserting that such practices breach numerous articles of the United Nations International Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the International Labour Organization Convention concerning the worst forms of child labour.

The lawyer called for immediate government action to protect these children from physical harm, exploitation, and psychological trauma.

He emphasized the need for measures to ensure their well-being and proper development, including access to food, shelter, and education.

This issue has become increasingly prevalent in Namibia, causing concern among citizens and officials alike.

Amoomo urged the government to implement effective strategies to identify and assist these vulnerable children, who are often found at shopping malls and traffic intersections throughout the country.

The Windhoek Observer reported on the involvement of the Embassy of the Republic of Angola in addressing the situation.

The Embassy, led by Ambassador Jovelina Imperila e Costa, has been collaborating with Namibian authorities, including the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, and the Namibian police, to find a solution.

The Angolan government, acknowledging the challenges posed by climate change in the southern region of Angola, has committed to protecting children’s rights in line with international standards.

This commitment is demonstrated through various programs aimed at drought mitigation and financial support for affected families and cooperatives. Namibian police Inspector General Joseph Shikongo expressed the urgency of resolving the issue, recognizing the serious implications of the ongoing child labour crisis.

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