Tackling child labour through education in African, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) States (TACKLE)

Tackling child labour through education (TACKLE) is an IPEC project jointly launched by the European Commission (EC) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to fight child labour in 12 countries across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific group of states (ACP). It has a total budget of more than € 16 million (EC’s contribution is € 15 million with one million from the ILO) and started in March 2008.

The project has been developed in the context of a strategic partnership signed in 2004 between the ILO and the EC aimed at reinforcing their joint efforts to reduce poverty and work towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. TACKLE works towards this target by eliminating child labour through education.

The objective of TACKLE is to contribute to the withdrawal of children engaged in child labour and to prevent further entry of children into employment by offering alternative education and training opportunities and thereby contributing towards poverty reduction. The project aims to provide guidance in formulating new or improved existing legal and policy frameworks on child labour and education in the partner countries and to ensure their effective implementation and application; promote the development of institutional capacities of ministries and other relevant bodies for concrete action to fight child labour; promote advocacy and awareness-raising concerning child labour issues; and increase dialogue and strengthen networks on child labour and education in coordination with stakeholders, social partners, and civil society.

Project outputs

The project is implemented within the IPEC’s tripartite social dialogue framework but its innovation is reflected in the extension of the government platform to include both the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Education as key partners. TACKLE thus has an important focus on mainstreaming child labour within the national education systems.

TACKLE comprises four clearly defined outputs:

Output 1 - Country level legal framework prepared or strengthened where already in existence

The project combines work aimed at assessing and improving the legislative environment with activities to help ensure effective implementation systems and measures, with particular focus on child labour inspection mechanisms and child labour monitoring.

These are achieved through the provision of technical advice on legislation and on setting up/strengthening the required enforcement mechanisms, through missions of specialists, provision of support to drafting committees or workshops.

Output 2 - Strengthened institutional capacity leading to improved ability to formulate and implement child labour strategies

As part of the efforts towards this output, the capacity-building strategies are established with the national partners, around selected themes and target groups related to child labour and education.

Through training and information exchange, the capacity of education ministries to develop education policies and programmes which cater for the needs of out of school children, through quality non formal education and programmes aimed at supporting mainstreaming back to formal education are enhanced. In addition, Ministries of Education are assisted in their efforts to develop curriculum and education methodologies which improve the quality of education in both the formal and non-formal sectors.

Support is also provided to Ministries of Labour in the areas of a) strengthening relevant units within their ministries in order that they can play an effective role in developing strategies on child labour, b) strengthening capacity to introduce, operationalise and enforce new legislation and to integrate child labour and education in relevant national plans and c) data collection and analysis on child labour.

These processes are supported through various training and skills development activities within educational institutions, systems and structures as well as other involved parties.

Output 3 - Targeted actions to combat child labour designed and implemented

Through education and training interventions, the programme aims to withdraw children from child labour, prevent vulnerable children from entering child labour and give priority to addressing children in, or at risk of child labour. These interventions are designed to develop demonstration models of good practice which can be replicated by governments and other relevant bodies.

In some countries the project supports work aimed at developing non formal education programmes for out of school children, including in areas where there may be no formal schools. In this respect, activities include collection of base line information and identification of key target areas, identification of programme partners, and development of programmes which provide appropriate education, training, and other services enabling children to be withdrawn or prevented from child labour

For those in the formal education system, assistance consists of some form of educational support to children and their families, remedial education for out of school children returning to formal education, efforts to improve teaching methods and quality of formal education, or school feeding programmes.

Skills training programmes being supported by the project are primarily targeted to older children who may have reached the minimum age of employment but may be working in, or at risk of involvement in worst forms of child labour.

Output 4 - Improved advocacy and dissemination of good practices to enhanced knowledge base and networks on child labour and education

Towards this output the project supports efforts to develop the knowledge base and strengthen networks on child labour-education related issues. It also supports activities designed to strengthen mechanisms for knowledge sharing, particularly of the knowledge generated through the project. Such activities consist of issue-oriented research, mobilising national partners, building their role within the national dialogue and advocacy on education & training and at strengthening their ability to play an active role in supporting efforts to tackle child labour.

These activities are supported through identification and documentation of good practices, organisation of local and national partners meetings to exchange experience and identify good practices, identification of ways of integrating good practices in on-going government programmes, providing technical support to social partners, identifying and supporting relevant research opportunities, workshops and consultations.

Further information

For further information, contact ipec@ilo.org.