Programs

Child labour in East Africa

In East Africa, 15 million children go to work instead of school - one in every four children. About 5 percent of these children are working in the worst forms of child labour. For example, they are exploited in gold mines or as domestic workers in families. In many cases, children are forced to do so. They perform exhausting work for many hours in a row, in unhealthy and hazardous conditions. Even though legal frameworks outlawing child labour do exist in all East African countries, enactment and enforcement remains inadequate due to insufficient budgets, limited technical capacity and low awareness.

Background

Child domestic workers

Thousands of child domestic workers are hidden within households, working hard and long (often over 16 hours a day), for little or no pay, living in abusive situations, without regular contact with their family. Being exploited in child domestic work means that they are no longer attending school, missing the opportunity to improve their future prospects through education.

Children working in mines

Thousands of other children are forced to work in mines. They have to work with tools only suitable for adults and carry heavy loads, in a tough, abusive and violent environment that is far from child-friendly. Exposure to the very toxic mercury, and to landslides, collapsing pits, dust and the scorching sun is part of their daily reality.

Causes

Poverty is a major cause of child labour. Other push factors include: the high number of school drop-outs and the general lack of educational opportunities, coupled with traditional norms and practices as well as a growing demand for cheap labour. 

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Goals

To fight the worst forms of child labour in East Africa, we focus on the following target groups:

Children

Families and communities

The private sector.

Local authorities

Police and judiciary

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

What we do

In the East African region, our child labour programme focuses from 2016 onwards on the worst forms of child labour in artisanal mining and in child domestic work in Tanzania and Uganda. We aim to eliminate child labour by:

What we do

In the East African region, our child labour programme focuses from 2016 onwards on the worst forms of child labour in artisanal mining and in child domestic work in Tanzania and Uganda. We aim to eliminate child labour by:

Protecting children.

Sensitising parents/guardians and communities.

Training

Lobbying

Partnering and cooperating

Results

Some of the results of our work against child labour in East Africa in the first six months of 2017:

  • 870 child labourers discovered in two Ugandan districts with a lot of small scale goldmining: 402 child labourers in the Bugiri district, 468 in the Moroto district
  • 29 victims (28 girls, 1 boy) saved from the worst forms of child labour
  • 38 child labourers supported with judicial support
  • Supported 79 former child labourers to go back to school (again)
  • Support for 981 households of former child labourers with income generating activities
  • 2,267 children and 367 parents/care takers reached with education about the risks of child labour and the importance of education
  • 320 public servants trained in children's rights and child protection

Keep up with us, keep up the fight

Follow our fight against child labour. Keep an eye on our social media. 

Latest news

June 12th, 2019

Golden future for former gold mining children

A group of 64 former child labourers have received their vocational qualifications during a festive graduation…

November 27th, 2017

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