Value Chain Analysis: Joint Project for Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Kyrgyzstan

The JIA Business Association and the International Labour Organization are joining efforts to implement a pilot project in Kyrgyzstan to empower vulnerable families and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

News | 20 September 2018
BISHKEK (ILO News) – The project will identify the prospects and strategies for elimination of child labour through involvement of adults in productive employment based on assessment of market flows and analysis of value chains of cotton and beans. A workshop on this subject took place in Bishkek on September 20.

The workshop was organized by the JIA Business Association with support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) which will celebrate its centenary in 2019. ILO Enterprises Department is directly involved in the implementation of the project.

“The issues of preventing and eliminating child labour have been a priority for the Government of Kyrgyzstan over a number of years. Currently, the 2018-2028 programme for family support and children protection is being implemented. Despite certain positive outcomes, a number of problems still persist. A system to identify and support child labourers should become a reality”, Zhyldyz Polotova, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Development said.

According to Bolot Orokov, ILO National Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, “the analysis of value chains – also called added value chains – is supposed to demonstrate the real value and significance of child labour. This country has announced its intention to export agricultural produce to our partners, that is, EEU countries. In the face of expansion of digital technologies worldwide, low education level in Kyrgyzstan, massive flows of migrant workers, it is time to think how the labour market will evolve in this country”.

“The Trade Union Federation of Kyrgyzstan has been the ILO’s key partner over the last few years. Kyrgyz trade unions were directly involved in ratification of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182). Using this occasion, I would like to encourage more active work to ratify other ILO Conventions and Protocols. Since the ILO will celebrate its centenary in 2019, it would be important to have the ILO Protocol of 2014 to Forced Labour Convention No. 29 ratified to commemorate this event”, Rysgul Babaeva, Deputy Chair of the Trade Union Federation of Kyrgyzstan said.

“Children’s involvement in child labour are a concern to us. We believe the business community has a major role to play to eliminate this phenomenon. In this regard, the JIA intends to help the government to prevent the use of child labour and forced labour. The ways to achieve this are many, in particular, joint projects such as this one involving the ILO which purports to raise the awareness of the population that the use of child labour in value chains is fruitless regardless of the sector”, Zhoodar Omoshov, Chairman of the JIA’s Labour and Employment Committee said.

In the course of the workshop, Muireann Ni Sheanlaoich, ILO international expert, introduced the participants who represented public authorities, local governments, NGOs, trade unions and international organizations, business associations and agricultural experts to the ILO’s goals and methodologies for analysis of market flows and value chains.

The participants agreed a list of cotton and bean production sectors to be analyzed on the basis of the ILO criteria, discussed and approved a plan of events to analyze value chains of beans and cotton in Kyrgyzstan.