One of the most potent means of addressing child labour is to regularly check the places where girls and boys may be working. Child labour monitoring (CLM) is the active process that ensures that such observation is put in place and is coordinated in an appropriate manner. Its overall objective is to ensure that as a consequence of monitoring children and young legally employed workers are safe from exploitation and hazards at work. The active scrutiny of child labour at the local level is supported by a referral system which establishes a link between appropriate services and ex-child labourers.
In practice CLM involves the identification, referral, protection and prevention of child labourers through the development of a coordinated multi-sector monitoring and referral process that aims to cover all children living in a given geographical area. Its principal activities include regularly repeated direct observations to identify child labourers and to determine risks to which they are exposed, referral of these children to services, verification that they have been removed and tracking them afterwards to ensure that they have satisfactory alternatives.
Why is CLM useful?
It extends the coverage of limited “beneficiary” focused child labour projects to all child labour in a given area and promotes the institutionalization of a permanent response mechanism to child labour. It also helps specific child labour projects to phase-out in planned and organized way.
As part of the work against child labour CLM can be:
- A tool to mainstream and sustain project based child labour work into government child and labour protection work - the focus here is on long term impact of anti child labour programmes and projects.
- Organizing principle for direct action activities through using the referral system as basis for selection of beneficiaries and facilitation of their access to appropriate services i.e. education and skills training.
- Part of the general information generating process on child labour.