ILO and MOL to open new support centre for working street children in Beirut

The Beyond Ouzai Centre in one of the Lebanese capital’s southern suburbs will provide a variety of support services to local and refugee child labourers.

Media advisory | 06 September 2017
Beirut (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO), Lebanon’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) and the Norwegian Ambassador in Lebanon will inaugurate a centre to support working street children in the Ouzai suburb of the capital Beirut on 7 September.

The centre will provide a variety of support services to local and refugee child labourers involved in street work, which includes begging, street-based trade and services. There is also evidence of street-based working children being lured into engagement in armed conflict.

The centre will be managed by the Lebanese NGO Beyond Association, and financially supported by the Norwegian-funded ILO project titled “Combatting the Worst Forms of Child Labour among Syrian Refugees and Host Communities.” In 2016, Beyond Association opened a similar centre with the support of the ILO, MOL and Lions of Norway for child labourers in the agricultural sector in Lebanon’s Beqaa region.

Regionally, the already vast number of children engaged in the worst forms of child labour in the agricultural sector increased substantially following the outbreak of the crisis in Syria in 2011, and the arrival of refugees in neighboring countries.

The ILO warns that the growing exploitation of these working children is of serious concern in the region.

The centre will provide the children it cares for with services such as literacy and numeracy programmes, psycho-social support, awareness raising on the hazards of child labour through drama and the arts, recreational activities and child protection activities.

The ILO project responsible for the centre will also provide economic support to the children’s families, to help remove the necessity of sending the children to work.

The project has also provided specialized capacity building support for the centre’s social workers and educators, and has trained the Internal Security Forces in the Ouzai and wider Mount Lebanon area on how to attend to child labourers and withdraw them from street work.

The centre will be inaugurated in Ouzai, Beirut, on 7 September at 11:00 am.

For further information, please contact:

Salwa Kanaana, kanaana@ilo.org, +961 71 505958