The Wagner Group, a shadowy mercenary group that has been operating for many years in African countries such as Sudan, Mali, the Central African Republic, and other mainly Francophone countries, has again been thrust into the limelight due to its involvement in the Ukraine war on behalf of Russia.
In the deep rural village of Jekezi in South Africa's Eastern Cape, most young and able-bodied people have fled the area, leaving behind people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.
Greed, poverty, irresponsible legal mining giants which exploited and then abandoned South Africa's mines, together with the government's failure to enforce regulations on the mining giants to rehabilitate mines before closing them, have created fertile ground for a thriving illegal artisanal mining sector called Zama Zama, many of them run by criminal syndicates.
Mining towns across South Africa have become hostage to a booming but bloody illegal mining economy.
After two years of economic and social upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries, including South Africa, have lifted the tough protocols such as lockdowns, the mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing.
Around the world, from Syria to Libya, from Bangladesh to Ukraine, millions have become refugees in foreign lands due to war, famine, or political and economic instability in their countries.
Samuel Sasu Adonteng, programme officer for the All-Africa Students Union (AASU), believes that the recent 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour has taken us closer to ending child labour for the first time because the voices of those affected were heard.
Lucky Agbavor sleeps on a mattress in a church in Accra, Ghana sells juice to earn an income, and has been a child labourer since he was four. Now he has made an impact on the international stage when he participated in the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child labour.
Amar Lai’s first memories are working alongside his parents and siblings in a quarry, breaking rocks. He was aged four.
Now chatting to Lai, a confident 25-year-old human rights lawyer, it is hard to believe he was once a child labourer.
With a strong commitment from governments, businesses, labour and consumers, the scourge of child labour can be eliminated, says Dr Joni Musabayana, Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Pretoria, South Africa.
A mere 53 billion US dollars per annum – equivalent to 10 days of military spending – would ensure all children in all countries benefit from social protection, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi told the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour.
Children's voices took centre stage at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, which kicked off in Durban, South Africa, on May 15, 2022. Their voices resonated with the saying: "Nothing about us without us."