Malawi’s Agriculture Labour Practices Code for tobacco industry to promote human rights – Minister

Malawi’s Minister of Labour Honourable Agnes Nyalonje says the newly developed Agriculture Labour Practices (ALP) Code for the tobacco industry is ‘a significant milestone in our collective journey towards ensuring fair, safe, and dignified labour practices within this critical sector’.

The Minister made the remarks on Monday at the launch of Malawi’s tobacco industry ALP Code in Lilongwe.

Among others, the Code seeks to promote the elimination of child labour and forced labour.

According to Honourable Nyalonje, the Code is not just a set of guidelines.

“It is s an obligation – a promise to uphold the highest standards of labour practices within the tobacco industry. It is a beacon of hope for millions of workers and a testament to our collective resolve to create a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future,” said the Minister.

In his remarks at the launch, Board Chairperson of the Tobacco Commission Dr Godfrey Chapola commended industry players in Malawi for embracing the Code, saying that is what will facilitate successful implementation.

“The Code would be of little significance if it was not adopted by participants in the tobacco industry in Malawi. The adoption of the Code in 2023 was, therefore, another important milestone as it offered assurance of industry players’ commitment to implementation.

“The adoption also demonstrated the quality of our collaboration as an industry. We are proud that the adoption provided an opportunity for us to show and strengthen our collaboration amidst differing business interests,” said Dr Chapola.

The ALP Code was developed by the Tobacco Industry Agriculture Labour Practices Working Group which was convened by the Tobacco Commission after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation.

The working group held consultative meetings with relevant government Ministries Department and Agencies and stakeholders in the tobacco industry in the  development of the Code.

With financial and technical support from Geneva-based Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation, the Tobacco Commission is coordinating industry efforts to fight human right violations in the tobacco value chain in Malawi.

 

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