During COVID-19, the unequal allocation of resources shows those who need the most help receive the least support. Yet, COVID-19 & previous crises like the Ebola epidemic show that school closures, unemployment, & lack of social protection exacerbate the risk of child labour, writes Winnie Nyandiga, 100 Million East Africa Coordinator.
2021 gives us an opportunity to re-imagine the future and prevent this potential reversal in progress. In the wake of the latest ILO data, that shows a terrible increase in child labour in sub-Saharan Africa, youth activists coordinated by 100 Million for the Fair Share to End Child Labour campaign are bringing together actors to reinvigorate our fight against all forms of child labour and the concerted effort for the breakthrough that is needed to achieve the 2025 deadline.
The Government of Uganda renews its commitment towards the elimination of child labour: the President presided over the launch of the second National Action Plan against Child Labour on 1 May 2021.
The Fair Share team in Uganda among other actors pushed the Government to review and revise the development National Action Plan that resulted in National Action Plan (II), which takes into account the harsh realities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This ground-breaking, stakeholder-inclusive approach reflected in the NAP (II), is not only important but also timely.
“The NAP provides a framework for the prevention, withdrawal, rehabilitation, and integration of child from child labour. The successful implementation will require a multi-sectoral approach, building synergies, effective reporting and documentation, mainstreaming, innovation, participation and commitment by all stakeholders, supportive policy, legal and regulatory framework.”
Mr. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development
Fighting for child labour legislation in Togo
In Togo, the IPU has written to the Speaker of the parliament in preparation for a parliamentary event, The FS team is pushing for legislation and institutionalization of child labour issues that seek to push for the ratification of convention 189 on domestic work, protocol 29 on forced labour; Budget allocation; and Social protection. The campaign has been recognised by the office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Labour. The team is working closely with the ministry of labour which is offering technical assistance in the organization of campaign activities and in collaboration with the National Assembly, the ministries of Social Affairs, Human Rights, and Relations with the Institutions of the Republic, have one event to address the persistent injustice of Child labour.
Other national campaigns
- In Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Namibia, the team has brought actors together and ready to engage. With their TORs, policy demands, and national strategy plans respectively, the Fair Share campaigns in these countries are looking into their priority areas to ensure Policy changes, national commitments to social protection, and implementation of the existing laws that will lift children out of child labour are secured.
- In Malawi, the Fair Share team is taking the community-based approach to tackle child labour. Starting with 28 districts, they have set up the needed structure to kick start the campaign with a goal of expanding the campaign to the national.
- Congo and Burundi have joined the concerted global efforts and are now setting the ground for the campaign in their countries.
Events for the World Day Against Child Labour 2021
On the World Day Against Child Labour 2021, the Fair Share Campaign in Tanzania, Uganda, and Liberia, in collaboration with various ministries, and other actors have organised events to commemorate the day. In Tanzania, the day is filled with a series of events with a special focus on survivors’ testimonies and children’s dialogue - to hear directly from those whose normal childhood is threatened. In Uganda, the team is focusing on the popularisation and implementation of the National Action Plan (II) from the district level up to the national level. In Liberia, at the invite of the ministry of labour, the Fair Share team will be among the speakers.