Cover Image
close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO, 2000, 356 p.)
close this folder1. National policies and programmes
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents1.1 STRATEGIC ACTION AGAINST CHILD LABOUR
Open this folder and view contents1.3 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR ACTION
View the documentAppendix 1.1 Terms of reference for a comprehensive report on child labour
View the documentAppendix 1.2 Ideas for group work in national planning workshops on child labour
View the documentAppendix 1.3 Example of a national plan of action on child labour, Cambodia, 1997
View the documentAppendix 1.4 Pointers to project design

Appendix 1.1 Terms of reference for a comprehensive report on child labour

Extent and nature of the problem

· Trends in the extent and distribution of child labour

· general overview and context;

· macro-level statistics on the number, proportion and gender composition of children in the labour force, including a critical review of the comprehensiveness and quality of the data and information available (e.g. especially who and what is excluded);

· geographical distribution of working children, especially urban and rural;

· distribution of working children by economic sector (e.g. large-scale agriculture, small family holdings, mines, industries, manufacturing, services) and by formal and informal sectors;

· trends: changes in the number, proportion, composition and distribution of child workers; and

· evidence from other economic and social information.

· Characteristics of child labour

· occupations or activities carried out by children, including important differences by age and gender;

· context in which work is carried out (e.g. employed, independent, paid or unpaid family helper);

· nature of work (e.g. skilled, unskilled, monotonous, strenuous, hazardous);

· conditions under which work is carried out (e.g. hours of work; remuneration; type and nature of contract such as temporary, casual or permanent, apprenticeship);

· working environment (home, family, factory, fields, bars, streets, etc.); and

· dangers to which children are exposed while working, for example: dangers to health and physical development; risk of injury or accidents (workshops, construction, household, city streets); dangers to mental development (isolation, as in cattle herding and domestic services); interference with schooling (monotonous, repetitive, unskilled work); and dangers to moral development (work in bars and night clubs; prostitution; drug trade); violence on the streets (physical and sexual abuse).

Report the results, if any, of the implications of work on the child's health, and physical and mental development. However, programmes of action cannot attempt to deal with all aspects of the problem at the same time and priorities have to be set. Some types of work have more damaging effects than others. The analysis, in this section, of the consequences of child labour practices would help determine where to begin and which children should be the priority target groups.

· Causes of child labour

· economic and labour market trends (e.g. recent developments that may have increased the demand for child labour in certain occupations or sectors, retrenchment due to structural adjustment, precarious employment, piece-rates);

· importance of income earned by children (e.g. to support self or family, finance schooling);

· schooling unavailable or inadequate (no access to schooling, poor quality of education, family values -see below);

· traditions, culture and social beliefs; and

· criminal inducement.

Government policies

Policies may be stated through, for example:

· legislation;

· public commitment to adhere to guidelines established in international conventions (ILO child labour Conventions, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, World Charter on Education for All, etc.);

· official statements made in Parliament (bills debated) or as reflected in the press;

· relevant policy objectives specified in national and provincial development plans, and the like; and

· specific child labour policies.

Have these policies been translated into action? If so, what are the results?

· Ratification of international conventions and regional legal instruments

List the international conventions ratified by the government which have a bearing on child labour and have implications for national legislation (e.g. ILO Conventions and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child). It might be useful to refer to any regional charters adopted which include provisions on child labour.

· National legislation

Provisions in the Constitution, legislation, government decrees, administrative rules and regulations, legal interpretations and customary law relevant to child labour, to determine the following:

· the age of admission to employment or work, including light work and hazardous work; scope of application; exceptions; definition of light work and hazardous work, etc.;

· the age of completion of compulsory education;

· special provisions to protect children's health and safety (e.g. limits on working hours, prohibition of heavy work, limits on exposure to hazardous substances, etc.); and

· inadequacies and gaps in existing legislation (ambiguities, sectors or occupations not covered, e.g. in domestic service, informal sector activities, etc.). The ILO standards on child labour, in particular the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), will provide a good basis for such an assessment.

· Enforcement of legislation

Institutional framework for the implementation and administration of legislation, in particular the following:

· the gap between legislation and practice;

· the role of the labour inspectorate and law enforcement in reporting on child labour practices and violations of the law, and of administrative and judicial systems in applying penalties and remedies in cases of reported violations;

· the role of employers' and workers' organizations in enforcing legislation concerning working children;

· institutional structures for tripartite (government, employers' and workers' organizations), community and NGO consultation and participation in enforcing child labour legislation; and

· gaps and shortcomings in the existing infrastructure (e.g. adequacy of the labour inspectorate in terms of available resources, trained personnel, etc.).

· Educational achievements

Describe, and if possible support with statistics, the following:

· enrolment figures and ratios distinguishing, if possible, between urban and rural, boys and girls, and indicating the number of hours per day children spend in class and the number of weeks per year that schools function;

· drop-out rates of children (if possible, by gender and urban-rural differences), and reasons for dropping out of school;

· availability of schools and teachers, distinguishing, if possible, between urban and rural, and indications of relative quality; and

· the role and efficacy of the school inspection system in controlling enrolment, attendance and quality of education.

· Cost of education

The real cost of education:

· tuition, if any, for primary and secondary education, whether formally or informally charged;

· other costs of schooling (e.g. levies, meals, uniforms, transport, books);

· government assistance schemes, if any, that help poor families meet or offset the cost of schooling (e.g. scholarships, school meals, subsidies for uniforms); and

· coverage and effectiveness of such schemes, especially in regions where child labour is prevalent.

· Educational policies

Evaluate the progress towards free universal basic education:

· expanding free primary education and targeting underdeveloped regions;

· improving the quality of education;

· promoting alternative or supplementary schooling for underprivileged or working children and for school drop-outs; and

· promoting non-formal education and training schemes for school drop-outs and child workers.

Targeted programmes

This section should review programmes of action by government or by NGOs that have an impact on working children. Some of these may be aimed especially at preventing child labour or removing children from hazardous occupations, and providing them and their families with alternatives in the form of training, complementary or non-formal education, shelter, nutrition, and/or income-earning opportunities. Others may aim to mobilize public opinion, organize community support or take an advocacy role on behalf of working children, including street children. In other cases, child labour may not be explicitly mentioned, but the programmes may have a (potential) impact on child labour, for example, those dealing with poverty alleviation, employment promotion or social protection.

· Government programmes

Description and assessment of programmes, as well as the institutional arrangements for coordination.

· Programmes of NGOs, and employers' and workers' organizations

· background (how and why the programme started, by whom and when, and what major changes have been made over time?);

· structure (how the programme is set up, how many centres/offices does it have and where?);

· target group (whom do they reach, how many benefit?);

· main objectives, strategies and activities;

· support (who supports the programme technically and financially, how much use is made of volunteers?) and links to the government; and

· results (how effective it is in reaching its goals and the impact, if any, it has on the children who participate or are otherwise to benefit).

Where possible, provide an evaluation of the overall impact of these programmes on the child labour problem.

· Awareness-raising and community mobilization

· level of awareness among the public about the incidence of child labour, legislation on child labour, the plight of working children, the dangers they are exposed to and the need to combat it; and

· activities undertaken to mobilize public opinion and community action in favour of working children.

Conclusions and recommendations

On the basis of the main findings of the report, an attempt should be made to present recommendations as to how the situation could be improved. The views of knowledgeable people or of a reference group should be taken into consideration. These recommendations would be used to facilitate the discussion at the national planning workshop (see Appendix 1.2).

The following questions could be considered:

1. Is the knowledge base concerning the nature and extent of child labour in the country sufficient to understand the problems and causes of the phenomenon? If not, what should be done to improve the information available on the subject? Are "hidden" child workers (e.g. domestics, farm and informal sector workers) identified and their situation understood? Which children are most at risk and deserve priority attention?

2. Do past and present public policies show a strong commitment on the part of the government, and of society in general, to reducing the incidence of child labour? How can the measures adopted so far be made more effective? What should be the priorities and which government ministries, departments or institutions should be responsible for implementing such policies? Are there any income-generating, training and welfare programmes for families and communities aimed at relieving the pressure for children to work?

3. Is the legal framework sufficiently clear and comprehensive to effectively combat child labour practices and protect the rights of children to healthy physical and mental development? If not, what measures should be taken to improve clarity and coverage? What needs to be done to make the enforcement machinery more effective and to narrow the gap between legislation and practice, especially for children not easily reached (e.g. in agriculture, domestic service, the informal sector)? How can employer and worker, and community involvement be improved?

4. How effective is the education system in providing all children with access to good-quality schooling? What can be done to expand the system and encourage working children to attend school or alternatively to provide them with the education and training they need to improve their income-earning opportunities in the future? How can out-of-school working children who have not completed their basic education best be reached through educational services?

5. Which ministry or government department should take the lead and coordinate child labour activities? Which other ministries should be involved? How can NGO programmes on behalf of working children be strengthened? How can cooperation and collaboration between government and NGOs be improved? What should be done to increase awareness of the public at large and to mobilize community support for action aiming at the elimination of child labour and the protection of working children?