The ECLT Foundation and the Tobacco Industry & Marketing Board of Zimbabwe were delighted to host the webinar “Setting up and implementing Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) in smallholder agriculture”, which took place on November 24 2022.
In this webinar, the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) shared insights on what a CLMRS is, what it needs to do and how to measure its success, as well as their 20-year experience in pioneering the adaptation and use of CLRMS in the cocoa sector. Moreover, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare (MoPSLSW) of Zimbabwe shared their experience on their National Case Management System for the Welfare and Protection of Children in Zimbabwe.
- Jean-Yves Delaveux – Head of Programmes – International Cocoa Initiative
- Faith Ruramai & Patience Rupende – Department of Social Development of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare (MoPSLSW) of Zimbabwe
Strengthening CLMRS for increased adoption and impact
Two decades ago, Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) were developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO). ICI has been pioneering the adaptation and use of these systems in the cocoa sector. In recent years their use to identify, monitor, address and prevent child labour has expanded greatly and current estimates suggest approximately 30% of the cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are now covered.
The operational definition states that a CLMRS must be able to successfully implement four core activities:
- Raise awareness on child labour and resulting harm amongst farmers, children, and members of the wider community.
- Identify children in child labour through an active monitoring process, using standardised data collection tools.
- Provide both prevention and remediation support to children in child labour, and others at risk, and document the support provided.
- Follow-up with children identified in child labour to monitor their status on a regular basis until they have stopped engaging in child labour.
Key indicators that can be used to measure the impact of a CLMRS include:
- The number of households and children monitored by a CLMRS,
- The number and percentage of children identified in child labour,
- Whether children receive prevention and remediation support, and
- Whether identified children stop working.
ICI’s “Effectiveness Review of Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems in the West African Cocoa Sector” was also published in 2021 to help improve the effectiveness of CLMRS.
It analyses data from over 200,000 children covered by 12 CLMRS to examine:
- How effective are different types of system design and setup at identifying cases of child labour?
- How effective are systems at keeping children out of child labour and improving their access to school?
Identification of cases
Identifying cases of child labour is not always easy for several reasons: child labour is a sensitive topic; children may not be present when a monitor visits; families may not always provide complete information; and the training, experience and motivation of monitors can vary. However, it is important to identify as many cases as possible, so that support can be provided to all who need it. This review highlights several ways to improve identification rates: adapting awareness-raising campaigns and monitoring visits to match seasonal patterns, recruiting and retaining more female monitors and those with higher levels of education.
Protecting children from child labour
Once a child is identified, providing support does not automatically mean that the child will stop working and different children require different types of support. Many children go in and out of child labour over time, underlining the importance of continued monitoring and response to their changing needs. Results suggest that interventions to improve access to quality education (such as the provision of school kits, the renovation of classrooms, and the organisation of bridging classes for out-of-school children) are particularly promising strategies to help children out of hazardous work.
How effective are CLMRS at helping to stop children from engaging in child labour?
CLMRS are built around community facilitators (often farmers themselves) who visit households, raise awareness on the dangers of child labour, and identify children engaged in hazardous work. If a child is found in child labour, they are recorded in the system and support is provided to the child, their family and community.
Child labour is a complex problem. Even after receiving support, it is not always easy for a child to stop working definitively, especially as the risk of child labour increases as a child grows older. This is why it is important to conduct regular follow-up visits – facilitators aim to do so every six months – to check how children are getting on and determine whether further support is required.
Data collected by the CLMRS show that just over 40% of children found in child labour have stopped doing hazardous work by their first follow-up visit. But by their next visit, some are involved in child labour once again. However, if children are found to be not in child labour for at least two consecutive visits, they are much less likely to return to doing hazardous work again.