These figures embody the challenge that remains in order to reach Target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The new ILO project “Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa” (ACCEL Africa) has the overreaching goal to accelerate the elimination of child labour in Africa, through targeted actions in selected supply chains such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, gold and tea.
It covers 6 countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda.
The project builds on lessons learned from over 25 years of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and overall ILO experience.
« We will work in areas such as public policy and good governance, empowerment and representation, and partnership and knowledge sharing among global supply chain actors working in Africa, » said Minoru Ogasawara, the ILO’s ACCEL Africa Chief technical advisor.
“The supply chains approach is at the heart of the project. While the focus is mainly on the lowest tiers of the supply chain, it will involve work with informal networks, supply, production and national and international markets, » he added.
In addition, ACCEL Africa will be supported by continuous research and identification of good practices from the project implementation and from other sources.
Taking action in Uganda
Child labour is a significant social and economic problem in Uganda. According to official statistics, 14 per cent of all children aged 5-17 are engaged in some form of child labour. The educational achievement of these children is at risk because they either do not go to school or their schooling suffers from long hours dedicated to work.
Under the new project, the focus will be on elimination of child labour in the tea and coffee supply chains. Vulnerable children, families and communities in the tea and coffee supply chains in the target districts of the country will be among the beneficiaries.
Uganda is Africa’s second largest producer and exporter of tea after Kenya, and its production and exports are witnessing substantial increases in recent years. Coffee is the main foreign exchange earner in Uganda.
The government of Uganda has ratified several ILO Conventions on child labour. It also launched a National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labour (2017/2018 – 2021/2022).
The project will also rely on the support from Ugandan workers’ and employers’ organizations.