The parents of some minors caught hawking in the streets of Kribi have been summoned by the competent authorities for been accomplices to child labour.
The fight against child labour has been a daunting task to the government of Cameroon. Through the Ministry of Social Affairs, sensitization campaigns have been unfolding calling on parents to take their responsibility in ensuring the wellbeing of their children especially minors. Despite government’s effort to curb this phenomenon, some parents are headstrong as it is a common practice to meet children of less than 10 years trading on the streets. Presently, it is long term vacation term in Cameroon, and the streets are flooded with children selling one item or another. In the exercise of this duty they are exposed to many societal ills like kidnapping, rape, pedophile just to name this few. Yet some parents do no measure the gravity of danger to which their children are exposed to as they continue to send them to the streets to trade.
In the town of Kribi, a sea side city in the South region of Cameroon, authorities in the town could not bear the situation anymore as the police picked up some 21 minors aged between 6 and 13 years who were trading in the street. They were taken to the reception of the Police unit, each with his or her tray of goods. They all looked very innocent, smiling and playing as the police Commissioner Raymond Mman interrogated them to know the name of their parents and telephone numbers. Abe Mathias is six years and one of the children picked up by the police along the beach. He had six toilet rolls on him. He declared that he left the house as early as 7am with six toilet rolls and at about 1 pm when he was picked up by the police, he still had all his six toilet rolls. He looked tired and wearied from the about four km walk he had undergone since morning as he tries to sell his goods. Some others who were interrogated declared they were forced by their guardians to sell. The Divisional officer and the State council of Kribi who were at the scene of interrogation immediately summoned their parents for the law to follow its course. Before this incident the Divisional Officer of the Ocean Division, Antoine Bisaga had signed official documents banning all activities related to child exploitation. The representative of the state council of the Court of Kribi Christelle Andjock Meke Eba, reiterated that the Cameroon Penal Code is against child labour and for that reason the parents will be severely punished according to the law for been accomplices to child exploitation. He hammered that they need to be responsible and work for their off springs and not vice-versa.