In Uganda, 1 in 3 children are doing work in agriculture that puts their health, safety, education and development at risk. Since 2013, ECLT’s project in Uganda has reached over 110,000 children in the fight against child labour. Building on these successes, ECLT will continue to work with implementing partner UWESO to launch an extension and plans to support another 38,800 children and over 100,000 adults over the next three years. The project will be run in the rural communities of the district of Hoima, expanding to the Kikube district and will focus on improving education, reducing poverty, raising awareness and strengthening child labour policy.
Improving school infrastructure, facilities and materials will encourage children to join or stay in school. Teachers and headteachers will be trained on identifying child labour and how to respond. Children who were previously involved in child labour will be supported to enrol in secondary school or job skills training. In doing so, children and young people will have access to decent job markets, breaking the cycle of poverty and child labour.
The project will also set up village savings and loan associations which aim to give rural families the necessary skills to manage their finances in difficult times of the year. Poor harvests, illness or natural disasters can put a strain on farmers and families, who often have no choice but to send their children to work to contribute to the family income. By saving and loaning parents, can find new ways to build household funds and keep their children in school all year round.
Many families in Hoima and Kikube aren’t aware of the dangers of child labour, particularly in agriculture. By working with local radio stations, newspapers, and other media sources, the project will raise awareness on how child labour can harm children and promote potential solutions to help families, who feel they have no choice but to send their children to work.
Strengthening child labour policy
For programmes to effectively and sustainably fight child labour they require support from district and national governments. The Hoima District Action Plan on the Elimination of the Worst forms of Child Labour encouraged other sectors to come together and coordinate. The extension will mobilise stakeholders to develop a new District Action Plan for Kikube and will continue to support the government to build capacity for the implementation of the policy.
ECLT’s project in Uganda aims to adopt a holistic approach, giving local ownership to the programmes and bring long-lasting change to rural communities.