Tackling the worst forms of child labour amongst IDPs, refugees, and vulnerable host communities in Iraq

The project targets both children in or at risk of the worst forms of child labour and their families in efforts to increase protection and find sustainable solutions that address the root causes of child labour in the country.

Summary

The ILO, with the support of the European Regional Development and Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II) - a joint European initiative running until 2021, is implementing a project which seeks to address the worst form of child labour in Iraq.

The project targets both children in or at risk of the worst forms of child labour and their families in efforts to increase protection and find sustainable solutions that address the root causes of child labour in the country.

In close collaboration with a range of partners, including UNICEF and UNHCR, as well as local partners and organisations, activities to identify, withdraw and rehabilitate children from some of the worst forms of child labour will be implemented. In addition, measures to prevent at-risk children from entering the worst forms of child labour are being developed. This includes the development of a Child Labour Monitoring System to identify and refer vulnerable children to relevant actors and services, as well as the development of a National Action Plan Against Child Labour to ensure better protection for vulnerable children and families. 

At least 1,500 children below the age of 18 involved in or at risk of the worst forms of child labour and their families will be supported through the project. Direct beneficiaries will also include older siblings and caretakers of vulnerable children, through the provision of skills training for youth and ensuring that siblings and caretakers are placed in apprenticeships, and have access to employment counselling and guidance services. Other beneficiaries will include staff working directly with working children, such as labour inspectors, teachers, NGO staff, social workers, police officers and community leaders, in targeted areas, particularly Duhok and Ninewa.

Objectives

Overall Objective: Substantial reduction of the worst forms of child labour amongst IDPs, refugees, and vulnerable host communities in Iraq.
  • Children involved in the worst forms of child labour are withdrawn and rehabilitated, and children at risk are prevented from engaging in child labour;
  • Vulnerable children and families are better protected through a coherent and effective policy framework;
  • National and local capacities to address the worst forms of child labour are enhanced.

Main Activities

Establishing a Child Labour Monitoring System (CLMS). This includes:
  • Supporting the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to improve child protection systems in Iraq;
  • Conducting a rapid assessment in selected areas on child labour to better understand the needs of vulnerable children and their families, and scope of child labour;
  • Identifying children at risk of/engaged in child labour and referring them to relevant services through the CLMS.
Increasing access to quality education for children through:
  • Developing and piloting a cost-effective model for bridging education in the target areas for the gradual reinsertion of children in education;
  • Training teachers and school administrators;
  • Enrolling children at risk of or involved in child labour in formal education, and non-formal catch-up programmes for children who have dropped out;
  • Engaging vulnerable children in the ILO’s Supporting Children through Education, Arts and the Media (SCREAM) methodology.
Providing skills training and income-generating activities to older siblings and caretakers of vulnerable children through:
  • Referring cases to informal apprenticeships for children above the minimum age for employment;
  • Providing skills training and income generation activities for older siblings and caretakers of vulnerable children.
Linking families of vulnerable children to existing cash transfer programmes through:
  • Exploring exit strategies from cash-based initiatives towards income-generating activities;
  • Referring families of vulnerable children as well as older children to employment centres.
Supporting the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) against child labour through:
  • Gathering qualitative and quantitative data on child labour in Iraq;
  • Drafting, validating and finalising a National Action Plan (NAP) against child labour with relevant stakeholders.
Creating a media campaign on the worst forms of child labour through:
  • Developing awareness-raising campaigns to promote attitudinal change among the public, including IDPs and refugees against child labour.