Uganda is experiencing a myriad of social-economic problems and development challenges. Among these are poverty – nearly 1/3 of Ugandans live on less than $1/day - HIV/AIDS, and recovering from the effects of insurgency in the North. These have and are still producing terrible consequences for the nation’s poor and vulnerable groups. Among the most affected are children that today constitute 56% of the entire population. Because of HIV/AIDS, conflict and other causes, there are an estimated 1.8 million orphans in Uganda. Besides orphans, there are other children whose socio-economic well being is marginal because their families are poor, sick and/or have been displaced by conflict.
Many of these children, an estimated 1.76 million 5-17 year-olds are resorting to child labour, often to the worst forms of child labour (WFCL), in order to survive. For most of them, their chances of receiving a good, basic education and growing up to be productive citizens, finding decent work and benefiting from the promise of “prosperity for all’’ is severely compromised. The project aims to assist the Government to further strengthen its legal, policy, institutional and social foundations for timely, large-scale action against the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL).
Project Immediate Objectives
By the end of the project, social and economic policies and legal and regulatory frameworks that form the foundation for actions to combat the WFCL will be reinforced.
Immediate Objective 1
Immediate Objective 2By the end of the project, people and institutions at all levels of Ugandan society will be supported to mobilize against child labour through heightened awareness of its negative consequences and increased knowledge of the ways and means to combat the problem.
By the end of the project, a multidisciplinary and integrated area-based model of intervention laying the foundation for the establishment of “child labour free zones” at the district level will be created and available for replication throughout the country.
Immediate Objective 3
The overall output of this project is an Integrated Area Based Approach (IABA) model for combating child labour closely integrated with existing Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) strategies and institutions in three focus districts of Mbale, Rakai and Wakiso. Within the targeted districts, the project aims at ensuring that institutions that coordinate and deliver services to OVC have improved capacity to leverage resources from available sources including from local communities, the private sector, and government budgets, national and international NGOs and other International organizations and development partners.
During the project, IPEC has coordinated closely with the national structures that have been established to provide technical support for district development and OVC, for example via the National Steering Committee (NSC), the OVC implementation unit and the Decent Work County Programme (DWCP) Units so that they are in a position to replicate the models in other districts where they are active. This approach will not only assure that activities continue in the targeted districts but that the models contribute to achieving the longer term objective of the National Child Labour Policy (NCLP) – the scaling up actions in order to eliminate the WFCL by 2015.
The following actions are being undertaken to achieve the set project objectives:
- Supporting the finalization, formal adoption and implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) against the WFCL and supporting its integration and mainstreaming into other national action plans, in particular the National Strategic Programme Plan of Interventions (NSPPI-2) for OVCs.
- Supporting the Government of Uganda (GOU) to strengthen the legal framework, and the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms related to child labour issues.
- Reinforcing the knowledge base to support the NAP and ILO/IPEC pilot direct action activities.
- Raising public awareness of the plight of children and the negative consequences for society as a whole when the WFCL are tolerated and mobilize key actors to combat the WFCL at all levels.
- Piloting and testing an integrated, multi-disciplinary area-based approach (IABA) which supports district authorities, employers’ and workers’ associations, cooperatives, CSOs, local communities, vulnerable families and children to offer and/or access viable alternatives to child labour in three districts for later scaling up and replication in other districts.
Project Direct Beneficiaries
A total of 8,438 children were targeted for withdrawal and prevention from child labour through the provision of educational and non-educational services following direct action from the project. Of this total, 5,726 were to be withdrawn from work and 2,712 prevented from being engaged in child labour.
Of the total boys and girls targeted by the project, all the 8,438 targeted received among other services educational and/or training services, which included one of the following categories; formal education, non formal/basic literacy education and Vocational/artisan skills training and referral networks.
Around, 1,200 parents/adult caregivers of some targeted children have been supported to improve their livelihoods through provision of income generating inputs, basic business and management skills training, linked to Village Savings & Loans Associations and referred to existing social protection mechanisms in their community to enable them to support their children in school.