ILO builds national capacity to analyze data on child and forced labor in Africa

The International Labour Office under its project “Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa” (ACCEL Africa), conducts a training on data analysis relating to child labour and forced labour for 28 participants from national statistics offices, labour ministries and regional workers and employers' organizations of the Economic Community of the West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) in Africa.

Press release | 29 January 2020
Cote d'Ivoire representative of Employers organisations at the training on data analysis
“The training focuses on the concepts and definitions of child and forced labor, drawn from national and international legislation, and on the translation of these into statistical definitions, with particular reference to the amendments recently introduced by the International Conference labour statisticians, “explains Lawin Gabriel Kotchikpa, Researcher at the regional office of the ACCEL Africa project, based in Abidjan.

Spanning the period January 27-31, the training activities are designed to encourage active participation, promote communication and information sharing among participants. It will also help establish links between data producers and users in a collaborative effort.

Through the African Union Agenda 2063, and recently signed its Ten-Year Action Plan on the Eradication of Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Africa (2020-2030) African countries are committed to eliminating all forms of child labour on the continent in accordance with target 8.7 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Several African countries have thus drawn up national action plans to eradicate the child labour phenomenon. However, appropriate statistical information necessary for the design, implementation and monitoring of these policies to accelerate the elimination of child labour is still insufficient in many African countries.

"In addition to the data gaps, there is also a lack of harmonization in the production of child and forced labour statistics due to differences in the definition of concepts and methods of data production," continues Mr. Lawin.

The 20th International Conference on Labour Statisticians (ICLS) recently amended the 18th Resolution concerning child labour statistics aiming to harmonizing international statistical standards for the identification (and classification) of children in productive activities and child labour . The Conference also marked a turning point in the elimination of forced labour, with the adoption of guidelines on the measurement of forced labor.

A new international classification of employment statuses (called CISE-18) was adopted in 2018. These amendments and guidelines will have important implications for the measurement and formulation of future policies, as well as for the measurement of progress against the target 8.7 of the SDGs.

Accelerating action to eliminate child labour from African supply chains, ACCEL Africa, is one of the ILO projects funded by the government of the Netherlands, which aims to accelerate the elimination of child labour in Africa through targeted actions in selected supply chains: cocoa, tea, gold, coffee, and cotton supply chains in six countries in Africa: Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda.