In an increasingly globalised world, collaboration is taking a lead role in efforts, like the Sustainable Development Agenda, aiming to tackle worldwide issues. From our beginnings as a multi-stakeholder initiative, the ECLT Foundation has always seen the benefit of engaging with a variety of partners to address the complex causes of child labour
Over the past months, the ECLT Foundation kicked off several new partnerships, focusing on building capacity and fostering dialogue about how to promote children’s rights and protect them from situations of child labour. Two notable initiatives are a 2-year child protection training programme with the Child Welfare League of Canada and a child labour panel held as part of the 2016 IFCW WorldForum.
Training professionals on prevention against and response to child labour
More capacity-building and technical skills training for child-protection professionals was one of the key recommendations from the May 2016 District Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Hoima, Uganda. The ECLT Foundation, in partnership with the CWLC and the Makerere University of
Kampala will launch a 2-year programme to train 150 professionals in Uganda in the key aspects of child protection, prevention, intervention, and responses to child labour.
By building the skills of local professionals, they will be able to better address systemic problems currently confronted when combatting child labour in Uganda. The training programme will not only bring together the implementing partners, but also a variety of stakeholders in the Uganda child protection system. Encouraging synergies within all parts of this system will help to make sure that children are prevented from entering child labour and that current and past child labourers receive the support that they need to get out and move forward towards a life with more opportunities.
Linking child welfare and child labour
The International Forum for Child Welfare WorldForum is a unique gathering, bringing together top civil society thought leaders and actors promoting child welfare and children’s rights from around the world. As part of the 2016 WorldForum steering committee, the ECLT Foundation organised and took part in a panel discussion on child labour. This was an opportunity to raise awareness among a high-level audience on the prevalence and gravity of the issue, which the ILO estimates affects 168 million children around the world; to create opportunities for collaboration by bridging the gap that often exists between professionals working on child welfare and those working specifically on child labour issues.
The panelists included Aidan McQuade, Director, Anti-Slavery International; Sonia Velazquez, Executive Director, ECLT Foundation; Julie Rosicky, Executive Director, ISS-USA; and Katie Henke, Director, Civic Engagement and Social Equity, Winrock International.
Each brought a specific expertise and encouraged discussion on issues relating to ensuring that children in situations of labour can have proper access to child welfare systems. Challenges, such as the lack of services often offered in rural areas compared to in cities, were discussed. Promising practices, like job skills training for youth and adults in communities where child labour is prevalent.
— The ECLT Foundation (@ECLTFoundation) September 27, 2016
These two initiatives are two examples of the many partnerships that the ECLT Foundation is engaged in. Working with many different partners continues to be at the core of our strategy to combat child labour in tobacco growing. As the well-known African proverb reminds us, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”