The Chinese Embassy in Lilongwe has condemned the video in which a Chinese identified as Lu Ke filmed Malawian children chanting Chinese phrases bearing demeaning and racist undertones.
In a statement published on its official social media platforms yesterday, the embassy said it will assist in ensuring that the matter is properly addressed.
Reads part of the statement: “We strongly condemn racism in any form, by anyone or happening anywhere. We also noted that the video was shot in 2020. It shall be stressed that the Chinese Government has zero tolerance for racism.”
The statement said that in recent years, China has been cracking down on such unlawful online acts which have achieved tangible results.
The embassy said it has affirmed its commitment to ensuring that while the Malawi Government pursues the matter, they should assist where possible.
But our questionnaire sent to the Chinese Embassy press office was yet to be responded to. The Nation sought further clarification on how they intend to help the Malawi Government on the matter.
The video has been exposed in a documentary broadcast on BBC Africa Eye Investigation programme.
BBC journalist Runako Celina and Malawian journalist Henry Mhango established in their investigation that Lu Ke was shooting 380 videos a day and earning about K77 million, but was paying the children in his videos below $1.
University of Malawi Child Rights Legal Clinic under the Faculty of Law yesterday described the video as disgusting and further said they expect authorities to use relevant laws to ensure appropriate remedies are applied to the damage done to the children.
A statement jointly signed by incoming president Comfort Mankhwazi and outgoing president Bettie Mlauzi said: “We also accuse the State of China of breaching its duties to ensure that its nationals respect the rights of children that are Malawian.
“We expect the State of Malawi in line with its duties under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its own laws to ensure that the State of China takes measures to remedy the damage done to the children in the video and undertake that its nationals will not engage in such racist, exploitative and degrading actions against the children of Malawi.”
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has urged relevant authorities to do a thorough assessment of the facts exposed by the documentary and seek further information to establish the full extent of child rights violations.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said in a written response yesterday that authorities must also work together with the United Nations (UN) and other agencies to halt the illegal Chinese video-making industry that exploits vulnerable children in Malawi and across Africa.