ECLT invests in long-term capacity to fight child labour across sectors in Uganda

ECLT invests in long-term capacity to fight child labour across sectors in Uganda

After 15 years of commitment to fighting child labour in Uganda, ECLT is proud to welcome ECLT Uganda Affiliate Office: an independent locally based organisation set up to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration in the fight against child labour in Uganda. The new Affiliate Office will also share best practices and intensify coordination of efforts to close gaps in eliminating child labour across all sectors of the economy.

“The new Affiliate Office takes an innovative approach to put a stop to the displacement of child labour from one sector to another and eliminate child labour once and for all” stated ECLT Executive Director, Karima Jambulatova. “Keeping collaboration at the core of its activities, the Affiliate Office targets the root causes of child labour such as poverty, lack of coordination among stakeholders, poor access to education and absence of decent work opportunities to bring long-lasting change for children and their families across Uganda”

Committed to fighting child labour in Uganda

Over 2 million children in Uganda are doing work that puts their health, safety, development and education at risk. This accounts for over one-third of the entire child population of the country. Child labour affects every sector and almost every commodity in Uganda, including within the tobacco, sugarcane, tea and coffee sectors, amongst many others. To bring effective and sustainable change for these children and accelerate progress towards SDG 8.7 to eliminate all child labour by 2025, partnerships play a critical role in closing the gaps and coordinating efforts made by public and private stakeholders.

The ECLT Uganda Affiliate Office provides a much-needed platform for key stakeholders in both public and private sectors to come together to share accountability, address common issues, contribute to best practices, and design collaborative sustainable solutions.

“The Office is deeply engaged in mobilising all stakeholders around the common goal to end child labour in all forms” shared Grace Banya, gender expert, human rights and development practitioner, and Chair of the ECLT Uganda Affiliate Office Board. “We strategically focus on capacity strengthening of local structures and partners by providing technical support, dissemination of best practices and ensuring advocacy work for increased accountability. We look forward to increased partnership and concrete action in the fight against child labour”

An Affiliate Office for Sustainable Solutions

Over the last 15 years, ECLT has invested over 3 million USD to tackle child labour and promote sustainable development in Uganda. Working closely with National Government, District Officials and local implementing partners, projects have directly reached over 134,000 children, farmers and families in areas where tobacco is grown. To address the root causes of child labour, projects are focused on four key areas: improving access to quality education, reducing poverty, building capacity and raising awareness.

“The ECLT Foundation has been a key partner in the fight against child labour in agriculture; we have developed a strong working relationship to better reach and support thousands of children”, says Ronald Byarugaba, Human Resources Manager at Bugambe Tea Estate and Board member of ECLT Affiliate Office Uganda “We are pleased to welcome the ECLT Affiliate Office in Hoima, Uganda to further deepen collaboration with more sectors and broaden our reach”

The ECLT Uganda Affiliate Office was launched in January 2020. It is located in Hoima District, where a number of multi-national enterprises have operations. The Affiliate Office responds to the outcomes of a workshop convened by the Hoima District Government at which over 30 stakeholders representing District and National Government, Trade Unions, Companies and multi-national enterprises (representatives from tea, tobacco, sugar and Oil and Gas/Energy sectors) participated.

Collaboration to Close Gaps

“We have an exciting year ahead at the ECLT Affiliate Office in Uganda. Now fully registered, the Office can begin its work for increased prevention, withdrawal and protection of children engaged in child labour,” observes Eddie Wambewo, Executive Director of the ECLT Affiliate Office.

Keeping collaboration at the heart of the Office’s work, stakeholders agreed on key deliverables. These include conducting a regional child labour survey, increasing awareness on topic of child labour, strengthening local referral systems, building capacity, strengthening private sector coordination, mapping activities, and finally mobilising resources.

Such an approach is at the core of the ILO Integrated Strategy to Address Decent Work Deficits, which promotes an exchange of views and resource mobilisation across both public and private sectors to strengthen efforts in the fight against child labour in Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

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