Sunday, June 10, 2012


Child Labour is real in Uganda. It is of utmost importance that the concerned Uganda Government organs get to do something about child labour. It is absurd that President Museveni's leadership has overtime concentrated in seeing continued tenure in office as opposed to improved service delivery. Down at the Local Council 1 level, there is no performance worth mentioning. Child labour is clearly seen but nothing is done by those in authority. They don't want to annoy the electorate. Because of the cost of education, the loss of parents to mention just a few, a number of children end up as child labour to fend for themselves. The Ministry of Gender simply does not have the funds that can help sensitization of the public and mobilization efforts to see the children saved from child labour. We have photos of children in quarries looking for fees and means of survival. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHILD LABOUR IN UGANDA The Prevalence of Child Labor in Uganda An estimate from the 2005 National Household Survey places the number of child workers aged 7 – 14 at 2.2 million, or 38.3% of children in that age group. This includes 1.4 million children under the age of 12, and 735,000 children under the age of 10. Child labor is defined in the Ugandan National Child Labor Policy as work that is hazardous or exploitative and threatens the health, safety, physical growth and mental development of children. Even where the hazards are not immediately obvious such as cuts/disease exposure, they could include increased exposure to sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Although it is illegal under both International and Ugandan laws to employ persons below the age of 18 in hazardous activities, there is little enforcement due to lack of government resources, and arguably a tolerant attitude towards child labor in many communities. The Importance of Eliminating Child Labor Child labor denies children many of their human rights, including the right to education, to rest and leisure, and to be free from economic exploitation. These rights are enshrined in international conventions including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by Uganda in 1990), the International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ratified in Uganda in 1987), and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Labor also competes directly with going to school. Although Uganda’s progress in increasing rates of primary enrolment is substantial compared to other sub-Saharan neighbors, the primary completion rate is still much lower than desired, with only 49% of pupils finishing primary school in 2005. In this way, even when children are not directly harmed through their employment, they are nonetheless denied the opportunity to build skills to secure future employment. By obstructing the development of human capital, child labor is directly impeding Uganda’s long-term economic growth, and ultimately consigning millions of Ugandans to continued poverty. Causes of Child Labor in Uganda Poverty is the main driver of child labor, not only in Uganda but most developing countries. Other factors which contribute to the problem include: Social and economic disruption due to the loss of a parent, either to death or abandonment. For children aged 6 – 17, up to 20% have lost at least one of their parents due to HIV and conflict. This results in a greater burden on extended relatives, who often are already struggling to feed and educate their biological children. In some cases, orphaned children have no relatives to assist, and head the household themselves, often providing for younger siblings. Large family size, in cases where parents are unable to provide for every child. The cost of attending school. Although the government claims to provide Universal Primary Education for free, families are still need to cover school ‘development’ fees, supplies such as notebooks, and uniforms. These costs are too high for the many Ugandans living below the poverty line. The acceptance of child labor as ‘normal’ by many community members. The failure of parents/guardians to see the value in educating their children, which results in the encouragement of labor. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12th June World Day Against Child Labour Tuesday, 12 June 2012 The 12 to 12 Community Portal aims to consolidate efforts to end child labour and serve as a common platform for experience and knowledge sharing on research, activities and events in the build up to each World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL). In 2012, we look forward to a World Day that will be widely supported by governments, workers' and employers’ organizations, UN agencies, NGOs, civil society and others including schools, youth groups as well as the media. Join us and add your voice to the worldwide movement against child labour: Together we can make a difference! Each and every undertaking, whether big or small, to support action against child labour is important. With every accomplishment, the spirit of solidarity with the underprivileged will be strengthened. All of these actions will rise up in one great unifying cry for liberty and equality and lead to a better life for all the people of the world. Be a part of it. Activity Ideas: -) Organize exhibits of photos or drawings on child labour (in schools, theatres, market places or other public spaces); -) Set up information stands in the community to raise public awareness on the issue; -) Prepare radio or television shows or interviews with local authorities & prominent personalities in collaboration with local media; -) Perform a theatre piece in a local theatre of public place; -) Present a film on this theme in a local cinema, with a round table discussion; -) Designate a wall or a public space in the city where artists can display their depictions of child labour through works of art; -) Prepare information brochures and distribute them in your community; We can all take action to eliminate child labor. Join us on 12th June 2012 to remind the world that child labor is not inevitable, it can and must be abolished. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ World Day against Child Labour, 12 June 2012 This year again, Education International joins the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL) activities organised around 12 June 2012. EI encourages teacher unions to also contribute with public activities in their country to end child labour and promote education opportunities for all children. 2012 will mark the 10th anniversary of the World Day against Child Labour. The ILO launched the first World Day in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of working children and to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour. This year the World Day will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights. Teacher unions have been pioneers in the movement to prevent and eliminate child labour. In the past years, many EI affiliates have carried out successful campaigns in their country - for example, in Albania, Brazil, Ghana or Morocco. These unions consider the fight against child labour to be a core component of the right to education advocacy. Campaign: One Hour against Child Labour EI, in collaboration with the Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Organisation (ILO-IPEC), launches the campaign ‘One hour against child labour’. EI has developed an educational and interactive campaign material to be used globally by teacher unions, their members and students to undertake activities around child labour issues. The campaign kit includes an activity, a poster and pencils and is available for download on this webpage. The ‘One hour against child labour’ activity can be undertaken in schools, classrooms, staff rooms, union offices and union meetings. This activity is to be considered as a starting point for a year-long involvement in the fight against child labour at various levels – at individual level, in unions, classrooms, communities, as well as at national and global levels. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR 2010: GO FOR THE GOAL .... The World Day against Child Labour will be celebrated on 12 June 2010. It comes just one month after a major Global Conference on Child Labour is to be held in the Netherlands, the first event of its kind for more than 10 years. The World Day will provide an early opportunity for national and local activities to follow up on the momentum generated by the Global Conference, and to scale up the worldwide movement to tackle child labour. On this World Day we call for: Renewed urgency to tackle the worst forms of child labour. Scaling up global, national and local level efforts by making action against all forms of child labour an integral part of poverty reduction, social protection and education planning strategies. Building political and popular commitment to tackling child labour, with social partners and civil society playing a leading role in advocacy and awareness raising efforts. Tackling the Worst Forms of Child Labour It is now ten years since the coming into force of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (ILO Convention No. 182). The Convention has so far been ratified by over 90 percent of the International Labour Organization's 182 member States. Millions of child labourers have benefited from the Convention’s drive against practices such as the use of children in slavery, forced labour, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom, prostitution, pornography, forced or compulsory recruitment for armed conflict and all forms of work that are likely to harm the safety, health or morals of children. However, despite the progress much remains to be done. Too many children remain trapped in such totally unacceptable forms of labour. The ILO’s member States have set a target of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016. To achieve this goal requires a major scaling up of effort and commitment. The envisaged follow up to the Global Conference in May 2010 provides an opportunity for countries to assess the progress made, what more needs to be done, and how to go about meeting the challenge. Scaling up efforts through poverty reduction, social protection and education In a statement on the occasion of the 2009 World Day against Child Labour, President Barack Obama stated that “Global child labor perpetuates a cycle of poverty that prevents families and nations from reaching their full potential.” Our challenge is to break this cycle. Poor families may rely on the contribution that a child’s earnings make to the family budget, or because of inadequate family income may be unable to afford direct or indirect costs associated with education. Tackling such family poverty is a central part of the strategy to tackle child labour. Ensuring adults have employment and decent work is vital. Governments can also implement social protection strategies which assist poor families. Cash transfer programmes and school feeding programmes have been found to have a strong positive impact in promoting access to education and reducing child labour. Tackling child labour is closely related with progress on basic education. According to the most recent estimates, 72 million primary aged children of whom more than half are girls, and 71 million children of junior secondary school age, are not enrolled in school. In addition, many children who are enrolled are not attending on a regular basis. There must be a strengthened global, national and local level commitment to ensuring education for all children to the minimum age of employment, and opportunities for those youth who have missed out on the chance of formal education. Building political and popular commitment to tackling child labour Employers’ and workers’ organisations have been strong advocates for the ILO’s child labour Conventions. If we are to raise the level of national concern with child labour, employers and workers organisations must be centrally involved. Apart from governments themselves, the social partners will often be the best organised and most effective advocates for action. Speaking at the International Labour Conference in 2006 the ILO Director General said that “The ILO’s tripartite constituency are natural leaders in sustaining consciousness of child labour, keeping it on the agenda, and building alliances for its elimination, nationally and globally.” Local civil society organisations can also play an important role in many communities in which child labour is a problem, by promoting awareness and attitudinal change against child labour and in favour of education and skills. Join with us on 12 June 2010! The World Day against Child Labour aims to promote awareness and action to tackle child labour. Support for the World Day has been growing each year. In 2010 we look forward to a World Day that is widely supported by governments, employers and workers organisations, UN agencies and all those concerned with tackling child labour. We would like you and your organisation to be part of the 2010 World Day. Join us and add your voice to the worldwide movement against child labour. For more information contact

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