Amongi Betty Ongom, the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a Social Finance Model to fight against Child Labour in Uganda

According to the latest National Labour Force Survey (NLFS) 2021, released last week by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), a total of 26.72 million children aged 5-17 years were engaged in some form of child labour excluding household chores in 2020.

A survey conducted by UBOS 2021 indicates that the largest share of this Child labour is prevalent in the Agriculture sector where children are employed as unpaid family workers. 19.5 percent of children in rural areas are engaged in child labour compared to 11.3 percent in urban areas

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“The ACCEL Africa Project is thus proposing a new Social Finance Model to combat this abuse and exploitation of children. 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,” Joost Van Ettro, the head of cooperation at the Emassy of Netherlands said.

He said 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. Business models designed include operational structures, training of field agents, incentive schemes, communication to farmers, digital solutions as well as creating awareness on child labour amongst services providers, like those from the financial sector, to mitigate against social risks in their product design.

The ACCEL Africa project is being implemented in six districts including Kikuube, Hoima, Buikwe, Mbale, Sironko, Bulambuli and Kabarole. The project is currently supporting more than 32000 beneficiaries both women and men as well as 41500 children from these households.

“ILO Social Finance Model is a concrete solution to implement priorities of the Uganda National Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods and mainstream child labour into other policies like National Financial Inclusion Strategy.  We are exploring synergies with the Financial Sector to play an active role in the fight against child labour,” Amongi Betty Ongom, the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development said.

She said the Government is taking a zero-tolerance stance towards child labour through the respect for international labour standards, implementation and enforcement of the national labour laws and policies on elimination of child labour.

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