3,032 Children withdrawn from child labour in East Africa

In East Africa, Terre des Hommes Netherlands has successfully withdrawn 3,032 children from child labour exploitation during 2015. Of these child labourers, 780 were working in mines and 751 were employed as child domestic workers. Furthermore, 8,229 vulnerable children have been prevented from becoming trapped in the worst forms of child labour.

One in every four children not going to school

Almost 15 million children in East Africa are engaged in child labour. This means that one in every four children is working instead of going to school. About 5% of these child labourers are exploited in the worst forms of child labour. Terre des Hommes Netherlands focuses in particular on children that are working under hazardous circumstances in small-scale mining and children that are hidden in houses where they are enslaved as child domestic workers.

Education is key

Child labourers who are out of school miss the opportunity to improve their future prospects through education. Education is key in our approach to eliminate child labour. Terre des Hommes Netherlands is supporting as many children as possible to go (back) to school or to enrol in vocational training; victims of child labour as well as vulnerable children who are at great risk of becoming victims.

Alternative forms of income

We also assist parents and guardians to develop alternative forms of income, so that their children no longer have to work. In the Turkana region in Kenya for instance, parents have established successful income-generating activities after being trained in business skills. These activities included group based tailoring shops - some of the groups managed to get tenders with local schools to supply them with school uniforms. Other groups opened retail shops or engaged in small scale businesses like selling of vegetables locally. The households have reported a 5% increase in their income compared to one year ago. They are now able to support their children with school requirements, transport and of course basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.

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