IPEC is dependent on voluntary donor contributions to assist countries. The Programme is a key expression of international solidarity – including facilitating increasing South-South cooperation – set out in Article 8 of Convention No. 182. In this regard, IPEC is primarily a field-based programme that delivers practical support to countries through its projects. IPEC project work with national stakeholders to implement one or more of the following interventions to target child labour in different sectors:
  • Direct Action
  • Legislation & Policy Development (Including Statistical Survey, Rapid Assessments, Baselines)
  • Advocacy & Awareness Raising
  • Institutional Development
  • Social Services, Livelihood Schemes and Poverty Alleviation

Over the years the scale of these projects has increased to generate greater impact and sustainability. Larger projects are subject to external evaluation to enable lessons learned to be part of the future project planning cycle and as part of building knowledge.

IPEC has had project operations in 88 countries in five regions of the world.

Global projects

Global projects are centralised, in that they are coordinated and managed from Headquarters. Such projects cover two or more countries across ILO identified regions. These projects either target a specific form of child labour or include a specific intervention such a Legislation and Policy Development or Statistical Survey. Only a few global projects use direct actions as mode of intervention. Headquarter staff manage these projects with the support of a number ILO-IPEC field staff and child labour specialists covering the country or region.

National projects

Most of IPEC’s national projects are decentralized, adapting its strategy and applying its principles where they are needed most – at the country and grass-roots levels. Nearly 90 per cent of its staff works in the field. Headquarters staff support national projects with technical advice, data collection, research and evaluation to create a comprehensive body of knowledge on child labour and the best way to tackle it. ILO field offices also provide support at the country level. At this level, child labour specialists and chief technical advisers manage projects close to or at the ground level where they can be more effective. In each country where IPEC works, tripartite National Steering Committees and Project/Programme Advisory Committees oversee activities. These projects typically combine direct interventions such as support to children suffering from child labour - through for example education and training - with advocacy, capacity building of ILO constituents and social mobilization.