Call for proposals: Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in Uganda

Important note: the deadline for submission of proposals has passed. Proposals are no longer accepted.

1. Introduction

About Terre des Hommes Netherlands

Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL) is a development organisation dedicated to children; it is named after a book by the famous French writer and World War II pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – author of "The Little Prince". Even before this book was published, he wrote "Terre des Hommes" (Earth for Mankind) in which he called upon 'the people of the earth' to take their responsibilities seriously and to show solidarity. He said: "There is no third world. There is one world for which we are all responsible."

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the cornerstone of all our programmes. This Convention represents the recognition by the international community that not only do children deserve to be protected, but that they have a right to be so. These rights have been enshrined in this almost universally accepted treaty and have subsequently been incorporated in national legislation in an overwhelming majority of the world's nations. 

The main theme of TdH-NL's work centers on the issue of child exploitation, the most serious violations of the rights of the child. TdH-NL's definition of child exploitation covers: (a) the Worst Forms of Child Labour; (b) Child Trafficking; (c) Sexual Exploitation of Children; (d) Child Abuse. Increasing numbers of children fall victim of human trafficking, sexual exploitation or hazardous forms of child labour as defined by the ILO's 1999 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO Convention 182). TdH-NL strives to prevent child exploitation, remove children from exploitative situations and ensure that they can develop in a secure, healthy and supportive environment. 

TdH-NL’s approach

TdH-NL's programmes are based on the Theory of Change (ToC), aiming to create a world free of child exploitation (please refer to Annex 1 - TdH NL Theory of Change). Because TdH-NL wants to stop child exploitation in a structural manner, the organisation does not only help victims but also tackles the problem at its roots. The main strategies in this ToC are the 5 P's: Prevention, Provision, Promotion, Prosecution and Partnership & Participation.


To prevent child exploitation, TdH-NL invests in education, but also in raising awareness among children and adults. And because poverty is the main reason for child exploitation, TdH-NL also offers parents the opportunity to increase their incomes via savings and credit groups.


Children who are victim of exploitation, need protection. TdH-NL provides shelter, health care, counselling and education and help them build a new future. The organisation also offers help to family members and involves the community in protecting children.


It is important that victims can stand up for themselves and perpetrators are not allowed to escape justice. TdH-NL thus helps children to report cases to the police. They can also count on legal assistance and help during the criminal prosecution. The organisation also trains local police and justice. 


TdH-NL stands up for children's rights. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness of children's rights and conducts research to identify and call attention to trends and developments in child exploitation. Furthermore, TdH-NL follows and influences decision-making of local and national governments, businesses and international organisations (like the UN) and advocates for the implementation of these decisions. To prevent children from being exploited and to ensure victims of exploitation receive adequate help.


TdH-NL strengthens civil society in the promotion of children's rights as a precondition to ensure children are protected. The organisation invests in the organisational and institutional development of southern civil society organisations.

TdH-NL always works through local project partners. These partners are familiar with the situation on the ground and know the best ways of reaching out and helping the children concerned. 

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Uganda 

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Uganda has been supporting local NGOs and networks in the implementation of projects which prevent child exploitation, provide assistance to exploited children and influence relevant policy and practice at local and national level. In aligning the country level interventions to TdH-NL's global strategy (2016 - 2020), the Ugandan programme will focus on Stop Child Exploitation (SCE) projects addressing the four major thematic areas. The geographical scope covers Central, East and North Eastern regions.

Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) / Child Abuse (CA) - Previously TdH-NL has focused on supporting implementation of the national Alternative Care framework in Uganda aimed at preventing unnecessary institutionalisation of children and developing appropriate care alternatives when separation is inevitable. In the new strategy it will equally address issues of SRHR for young people focusing on child marriage and early pregnancies.

Child Trafficking and Unsafe Migration: TdH-NL will work towards the elimination of child trafficking in and between our countries of operation. We aim to support well integrated and interlinked initiatives from to ensure that legislation and policy initiatives are rooted in practical experience and action.

Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL): TdH-NL's focus is on the worst forms of child labour, with a particular emphasis on child domestic workers and those children working in or around areas of mineral or oil extraction.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC): TdH-NL will support initiatives that aim to prevent and respond to the problem by strengthening child protection systems at all levels including laws, policies, regulations and the provision of comprehensive services to child victims.


2. Call for Proposals: Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central, East and North Eastern Regions in Uganda

Tackling the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) is an important theme in TdH-NL's current strategic plan (2011­-2015). As part of its new strategic plan (2016­-2020), TdH-NL plans to increase its support to comprehensive projects addressing (the worst forms of) child labour in Eastern Africa. Initial focus will be on three year projects (2016-2018).

Invitation for applications & eligibility criteria

TdH-NL is inviting non-governmental organisations (NGOs or CSOs) with the required framework to submit a full proposal. 

This call is open to organisations to apply independently as well as in a consortium / in partnership (i.e. more than one applicant). If an application is made as a consortium, the applicant should as the consortium lead clearly state how the project will be managed and should indicate a clear role for each partner. The appointment of a consortium coordinator position is recommended, to be included in the management costs. 

Funding is only granted to national organisations (non INGOs) fully registered in the country of implementation. Any sub granting partners must also be fully registered.

Outline of the requirements applicants need to meet in order to be considered for TdH-NL’s funding:

  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to be fully registered in the country of implementation
  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to demonstrate a successful track record in addressing (the worst forms of) child labour
  • The proposal needs to show a coherent programmatic approach 
  • The proposed project needs to be based on the Theory of Change with related outcomes 

Proposals that do not meet any of the criteria in this call and that do not use the formats provided will automatically be disqualified.


Child labour (CL) is defined as work which is either time-excessive (assessed on time spent in work by age) or in hazardous occupations (i.e. miners, chemical or metal processing, house girls/boys, construction labourers, etc.). The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, defines the worst forms of child labour (hazardous work) as; (a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, (b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, (c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, (d) work which is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

According to the US Department of Labor (USDOL) 2014 report, Uganda's child labour prevalence rate stands at 30%. A total of 2,700 children are involved in the worst forms of child labour (including child soldiers and child labourers in mining) and 73,290 are engaged in domestic slavery. The USDOL report highlights the lack of primary school completion rates (53.1%), high levels of poverty, high numbers of orphans (HIV/AIDS) and child-headed households, traditional norms pushing children to contribute to the household income, combined with upcoming industrial growth with a high demand for labour.

Several other factors contribute to the increasing prevalence of child labour in Uganda. They include negative cultural norms, the high and prohibitive costs of education, famines, food insecurity, the effects of war (particularly in Northern Uganda), high population growth rates, school dropout rates and illiteracy. Uganda ratified ILO conventions 138 and 183 and the UNCRC, set the minimum age for work at 14 years and developed National Action Plans on Child Labour. There is reported progress of the government of Uganda in addressing the problem of child labour, however budgets allocated for the implementation of national action plans are insufficient to make meaningful impact.

There is also a growing concern of Child Labour in the mining sector including stone quarries and gold mines especially in Mubende district and Karamoja. Additionally, thousands of child domestic workers are hidden within households of relatives and family friends, working hard and long e.g. for over 16 hours a day, for little or no pay, living in abusive and exploitative situations, without regular contact with their family. Their extreme poverty made them migrate to live with relatives/caregivers, while they have little or no access to information on rights/child protection or reporting mechanisms. Being under the care of close relatives makes it hard for exploited children to report their situation, as it goes against traditional cultural values and family relationships especially where it concerns exploitation by older children and adult family members.

Limited public awareness about the effects of child labour, the legal and policy frameworks coupled with lack of effective operationalisation of existing laws and policies remain a challenge to addressing the problem.

Expected outcomes

This Call for Proposals aims to protect children from the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central, East and North Eastern Regions in Uganda.
It specifically aims to address the following outcomes:

1. Children at risk of the worst forms of child labour and children exploited through the worst forms of labour claim their rights

2. Families and communities protect children children from (the worst forms of) child labour

3. Government protects children from the (worst forms of) child labour by making and adequately implementing laws and policies 

4. Law enforcement agencies convict employers of children

5. Civil society organisations protect the rights and best interest of children (specifically children vulnerable to (the worst forms of) child labour)

6. Private sector contributes to the wellbeing of children vulnerable to or victims of (the worst forms of) child labour

Intervention strategies - types of activities

Strategies to be considered by applicants should be in line with the 5 P's strategy of TdH-NL. A minimum of 2 of the 5 P's should be included in the proposed project. 
Examples of activities (important note: this list is for guidance purposes only and is not exhaustive):

1. Exploited children are withdrawn; receive legal, psychosocial support and education or vocational training and participate in income generating activities 

2. Community-based child protection structures are supported and actively take part in protecting children from exploitative child labour

3. Government livelihood development programmes including youth programmes are influenced to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable children and their families

4. Members of judiciary and police staff are trained on child protection and child-friendly interview techniques

5. The private sector is mobilised, sensitised and organised to address the problem of child labour

Applicants are invited to indicate innovative approaches that feed into the expected outcomes (i.e. beyond the examples listed above).

Geographical focus

The following areas in Uganda are eligible for funding: Central, East and North Eastern Regions.

Duration and budget

The initial planned duration of a project should be 33 months, starting on 1 April 2016. Contracts will be entered into on yearly basis; the first one to cover 9 months (1 April - 31 December 2016). 

Depending on the project design, the budget ranges from EUR 350,000 to EUR 450,000 for the full duration of 33 months. The budget should be presented as per the required format (please refer to Annex 4 - TdH NL EA Project Budget Format), entailing the budget for the first 9 months as well as for the subsequent 2 years. The budget for the first 9 months should not exceed EUR 150,000 for 2016. 

The proposed project budget should be at least 85% programme cost and not exceed 15% management cost (inclusive of a maximum of EUR 2,600 for ICT*).

* TdH-NL's reporting and accounting system is Internet based; with a view to this, all project partners are required to have or acquire sufficient equipment and Internet access.


  • Publication of the Call for Proposals: Wednesday 21 October 2015.
  • A Q & A session about this specific Call for Proposals will be organised by TdH-NL Uganda office for which all interested parties are invited on Tuesday 3rd November 2015, 10am - 12noon at Land Mark Hotel Muyenga in Kampala.
    (note that prospective applicants should cover their own travel cost to this location)
  • Deadline of submission: Monday 16 November 2015 (12.00 EAT)
    Send your proposal to with subject heading: Combating WFCL Project Proposal [+ name of (lead) applicant]. Include all required attachments / annexes.
  • Review and shortlisting will be done by TdH-NL on or before 15 December 2015. 
  • Shortlisted proposals will be subject to a more detailed review including clarifying questions, validation of information and capacity assessment of project applicants.
    Deadline for shortlisted applicants to answer questions raised: 15 January 2016.
  • Final selection will be done by TdH-NL on or before 7 February 2016, after which the selected projects will be submitted to TdH-NL's Head Office for final review and approval.
  • Partner contracts for the first 9 months of the project will be signed latest by 1 March 2016.
  • Projects will start on 1 April 2016. If so required, a mobilisation period of 2 months can be built into the project design, resulting in an effective project (activities) start date of 1 June 2016.

List of annexes


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