Programme initiatives to tackle child labour

Early in the work in Uganda, discussions with the Education partners suggested that the project could play a useful role in supporting efforts to mobilise community action against child labour and in favour of education. It was considered this focus would add value to broader policy and programme efforts by the Ministry and education development partners. Several new Action Programmes were implemented by the project with a focus on education services to children and mobilising community action against child labour.

Capacity of partners to promote effective action

The project facilitated an increased level of contacts and cooperation on child labour issues between the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Education and Sports. During the first phase of the project the Ministries for the first time formed a joint committee to consider issues of child labour and inter Ministerial cooperation around the issue. Two significant reviews were undertaken on the potential for mainstreaming child labour in education programmes, one through a consultancy supported though the Ministry of Education and Sports and another through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

During the period of the project the government developed and launched a new national Action Plan on child labour. Although the project was not directly involved in this work (another ILO project provided technical support), the title of the report reflected the strong focus now being given to education as the key response to child labour (The report’s subtitle was "Elimination of the worst forms of child labour: making schooling the principal occupation of children"). The project supported the dissemination of the National Action Plan at national and district level.

The project also worked with the Federation of Ugandan Employers on a programme looking at education standards in schools run by companies. The Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), has also been involved in a range of actions including advocacy and awareness work and worked closely with the project to give prominence to the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) through the one hour campaign against Child labour launched in 2013 by Education International, the global union Federation representing teachers unions.

The project also provided practical support and inputs to the National Child Labour Steering Committee. National partners have also participated in capacity building and knowledge sharing workshops involving the four project countries and held at the ILOs International Training Centre in Turin.

Knowledge sharing

Meetings of project partners have been held in order to facilitate knowledge sharing. The project also worked through a national network of education focussed non governmental organisations to engage these organisations in addressing child labour and there has been regular sharing of information in other fora (in particular at meetings convened by MGSLD, MOES and in the education development partners’ meetings).

Close cooperation was established with IPEC’s Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme (SIMPOC) and with the Understanding Children’s Work project. With support of SIMPOC, in 2013 UBOS launched a new National Child Labour survey. Building on that survey UCW developed a report on child labour and youth employment outcomes in Uganda. The project helped to support a consultative process and workshop events involving relevant Ministries, UNICEF and the World Bank to discuss the key themes of the report.

The project also provided support to an international Conference held in Uganda on "child Labour free zones" an event which had a strong focus on education issues. Prior to this Conference the project had supported a visit by a group from Uganda to look at the operation of Child labour Free Zones in Ethiopia.


  1. Policy brief

    Combating child labour through education in Uganda - A policy brief

    31 March 2015

    In recent years Uganda has seen only limited progress in reducing the rate of children’s employment. Whilst the country has seen important steps to promote free elementary and secondary education some major challenges remain. Uganda has experienced the highest rate of school drop- out in Africa and many young children leave school to go into the labour market. This policy brief uses information from a recent study to suggest steps which could be taken to better address child labour through education policies and programmes.

  2. Workshop report

    Skills and livelihoods training for older children - A summary of a project knowledge sharing workshop

    30 July 2014

    This report is an outcome of a five day workshop conducted as a strategic component for knowledge sharing under the IPEC project “Combatting child labour through education”.

  3. Workshop report

    Combating child labour through education - A summary of a project knowledge sharing workshop, Turin, 8-12 April 2013

    23 April 2013