Value Chain Development for elimination of Child Labour

ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is operational in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2005 under a common PROACT-CAR Combating child labour in Central Asia - Commitment becomes action Project.

The project “Combating Child Labour and Human Trafficking in Central Asia – Commitment Becomes Action commenced in 2017 and is designed to operate over a two-year period (2017-2018) on the outcomes and achievements of the previous IPEC interventions , lessons learned and experiences acquired in working with the governments and social partners in addressing child labour through social protection mechanisms in Kyrgyzstan. In this context, the project contributes to accelerate the pace towards achieving SDG target 8.7 through the exchange of experiences between Central Asia countries and stakeholders participating in SDG Alliance 8.7.

Mainstreaming child labour concerns into policy development frameworks facilitated a move towards a child protection systems approach in addressing child labour in Kyrgyzstan. The Project has succeeded to contribute towards development and strengthening a comprehensive child protection system, laying the foundation for a comprehensive integrated response to children’ issues, including child labour.  However, limited interventions were done in Kyrgyzstan to pilot programmes on addressing child labour through promoting productive inclusion and economic empowerment of families whose children and adolescents are forced to engage in the practice. In this regards, ILO intended to provide assistance to the national partners to examine productive inclusion in value chains where child labour is present and identify alternative economic opportunities with consideration of a population productive profile for self-employment and/or facilitating access to the local labour market.

The initiative is a direct follow up of the national consultations held among business associations, employers organizations and private sector on the role of social partners in achievement of SDG target 8.7 held in October 2017 – February 2018.

Together with the DWT CO Moscow and the SME Unit (ENTERPRISES department) the project has started to design a strategy to implement the Market Systems Approach in sectors where child labour is prominent. The idea is not only to focus in the specific value chains themselves, but also to analyse the environment, institutions, regulatory frameworks in which they exist. The final aim is to identify the actors and incentives necessary to change the dynamics (social, economic and productive) which lead to child labour in specific economic sectors of the Kyrgyz economy. To do so, the project will work hand in hand with the ENTERPRISES department to analyse stage by stage the value chains in which Child Labour is prominent, analyse working conditions of workers, as well as the barriers and constrains which stop those value chains to grow, be more efficient and productive. The final aim is to pull out of poverty the households and families which work on them.

The strategy will include the following areas of interventions:
  1. Two-day introductory workshop to equip the business and employers organizations with innovative tool that uses a market system analysis approach to identify child labour in specific sectors and promote the productive inclusion and economic empowerment of families with children engaged in child labour.  The workshop will provide steps and guidance for increasing the efficiency of value chains, with particular emphasis on how dependence on child labour may be eliminated.
  2. Rapid Market Assessment of selected economic sectors and preparation of an Action Plan with identified mechanisms and tools aimed at improving economic efficiency and productivity of selected economic sectors and value chains, therefore promoting economic empowerment and income generation to reduce poverty and eradicate child labour across specific value chain(s). 
  3. Adjustment of ILO “Guide to productive inclusion and economic empowerment for the prevention and eradication of child labour” to the Kyrgyz context, including a translation into Russian.
The interventions intend to contribute towards implementation of IPEC+ Flagship Programme by increasing institutional capacity of the national business associations and employers’ organizations aiming to eradicate child labour through the productive inclusion and economic empowerment of families whose children and adolescents are forced to engage in the practice.