Government has pledged it’s commitment in ensuring that child labour is completely eliminated by 2025.
The recently released 2021 National Labour Force Survey (NLFS), by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicated that 6.2 million (40%) of the children aged 5 -17 years were in child labour (excluding household chores).
It showed that largest share of this Child labour is prevalent in the Agriculture sector where children are employed as unpaid family workers. 19.5% of children in rural areas are engaged in child labour compared to 11.3% in urban areas.
Speaking at the launch of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Social Finance Model- A Fight Against Child Labour in Uganda on Wednesday in Kampala, Betty Amongi, the minister of Gender Labour and Social Development said that government will do whatever it takes to ensure that child labour is ended.
“We all know that the prevalence of child labour increased substantially during COVID-19 from 21% to 36% (according to National Household Survey 2019/2020),” she said.
ILO launched the Social Finance Model through its project-accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa” (ACCEL Africa).
Amongi said that the naming of the project spells out an urgent call to all of us to accelerate actions, so let us join hands in this together to wipe out child labour in Uganda.
Edgar Aguilar, the Technical Officer at ILO said that the Social Finance Model is a comprehensive package of services whose design and delivery models put into consideration backstops to mitigate against unintended social risks of financial services including child labour.
“The ACCEL Africa Project is thus proposing a new Social Finance Model to combat this abuse and exploitation of children,” he said adding,
“In Uganda, the ACCEL Africa Project is targeted towards the Tea and Coffee supply chains with activations on strengthening livelihoods, raising awareness of child labour, integrating measures to eliminate child labour into economic activities, and providing access to financial and non-financial services,”
The project is currently being implemented in six districts including Kikuube, Hoima, Buikwe, Mbale, Sironko, Bulambuli and Kabarole, supporting more than 32000 beneficiaries both women and men as well as 41500 children from these households.
Joost Van Ettro the Head of cooperation at the Embassy of Netherlands said that the project will run for four years and they have invested about $24m.
Speaking at the launch, Wellington Chibebe the ILO country director said that the the project will help in uplifting people from poverty and in the end eliminate child labour.
“We aim at reducing poverty in households by working with financial institutions, when we support them, and uplift their livelihoods, child labour will reduce,” he said
This he said is being done through exploring innovative approaches which will support more families.
“We are aiming at increasing the supply chain in Africa because we realised that access to finance is the biggest problem which forces parents to send their children to do heavy jobs,” he noted.