November 2005-December 2011 Overview
The ECLT has supported two projects in Zambia. The first, the ‘Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Project’ ran from November 2005 until March 2009 and included a six-month extension period. Following the successful completion of this phase, a second project was established, running from September 2009 until December 2011.
Project 1: ECLT I
Project in brief
|Project Name||Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Project|
|Duration||1st November 2005 until 31st March 2009 (including six month extension period)|
|Expenditure||US$ 743,980 (including extension period)|
|Location||Choma and Kalomo (Southern Province)|
|Overall goal||To contribute to the prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labour on tobacco farms in Mbabala and Tara areas|
|Development objectives|| 1. To increase awareness on the consequences of child labour among all tobacco growing farmers and local leaders in Mbabala and Tara areas 2. To educate all the families in Mbabala and Tara areas on health care and family planning options. 3. To provide free preschool school services for all children between 4 and 9 years old in Tare and Mbabala areas. 4. To institute motivation initiatives which encourage teachers and pupils to attend school.
5. To support households with alternative income generating opportunities.
6. To increase enrolment in vocational training institutions in Mbabala and Tara areas.
According to the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Zambia had a population of 10,288,631 with approximately 61% of the population living in rural areas. The agriculture sector was, and still is, one of the key drivers of the Zambian economy, generating, at the start of this project, between 18-20% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Women in both rural and urban areas are the most vulnerable to poverty and household food insecurity. The incidence of poverty is higher among female-headed than male-headed households. At the time this project was drawn up, approximately 72% of all female-headed households were extremely poor. Their average monthly income was not only less than half that of male-headed households but they experienced food shortages more often and for longer spells.
Rural poverty is associated generally with lack of economic opportunities. Specific challenges included poor access to markets, costly or unavailable agricultural inputs, poor communication and a lack of market information. This poverty at household level resulted in the phenomenon of child labour, with many children engaged in the worst forms of child labour and hazardous child labour. About 37% (3.8 million) of the total population are children of the age group 5-17 years old. According to the Statistical Survey on Child Labour in Zambia undertaken in 2001, about 600,000 children aged 5-17 years old were found to be working. 87% of these, some 522,000 children, were in agriculture-related occupations.
Factors that influenced the prevalence of child labour in Zambia can broadly be divided into two categories: supply and demand.
Supply factors include:
1. Children who are recruited to work come from farms and surrounding communities that are very poor. Families have no reliable sources of income and households are mostly food insecure.
2. Very few primary school facilities exist; even where they have been provided children have to walk long distances to reach school (10 -15km). This makes it very difficult for young children to attend school.
3. Most households working on farms cannot meet schooling requirements for their children because they are so poor. The result is that most children drop out of school early to find employment on the farm to help contribute to family survival.
4. Most young women and men engaged in child labour lack business and organizational skills. They also lack information about market and micro-credit financing opportunities that might enable them to take the initiative to improve their well-being.
5. Absence of recreation facilities on farms and surrounding communities means that children opt to engage in agricultural work by accompanying their parents who are employed on the farms.
6. A general absence of awareness by both parents and children about children’s rights encourages child labour.
On the demand side:
1. The Zambian legal and regulatory framework both at community and legislative institutional level to combat and prevent child labour is weak. Employers exploit children with impunity.
2. The vulnerability of female-headed households to poverty encourages women to send children to work on farms at a young age. Furthermore, the girl child is often encouraged to marry very young so that the son in-law can provide income/food for the extended family.
1. Withdrawal, Prevention and Protection
The project succeeded in its primary aim of protecting children from hazardous child labour in tobacco-growing. Specifically:
- The project withdrew 1,000 children from tobacco farming.
2. Education and other basic social services
Offering children the chance to fulfil their potential by providing a solid, uninterrupted education is key to the successful fight against child labour. This project’s education support began at pre-school age. Specifically:
- The project trained six preschool teachers, two more than originally planned.
- By the end of the project, 536 children of preschool age had enrolled in the two preschools at Simunzele and Kalonda. These children had either been withdrawn from tobacco farms or had looked after siblings while their mothers worked in the fields.
- Over 80% of the children enrolled in grade one at different schools.
- A child day care centre was constructed at one farm – Buffalo 2 Child Care Centre – and two single toilets were constructed for Kalonda Preschool.
The project embarked on a number of activities both to encourage children to attend school and improve the basic school completion rate by 50%.
- Four schools were supplied with textbooks, exercise books, pens, pencils, flip-charts crayons, water colours, erasers and chalk.
- They were also supplied with sports and other recreational facilities such as footballs and netballs and footballs and netball jerseys, pressure pumps, whistles, seesaws and swings.
- The project awarded 166 scholarships.
- Dilapidated school infrastructure was rehabilitated which included the digging of a borehole at Mbabala Basic School as a water source for children.
- New VIP latrines were also constructed at Tara Basic School.
But the project also recognised that education does not necessarily end with formal schooling.
- To increase the number of skilled youths in rural communities – those aged 16 and above – the project oversaw the construction of two skills training centres at Tara and Simunzele.
- Even before construction was complete, the project enrolled 139 students out of the targeted 150.
- These two centres were supervised by trained Government personnel from Mbabala and both were opened in April 2008.
- They run the same three courses: tailoring, bricklaying and carpentry.
- Adult literacy classes were also run for those unable to read and write and by the end of the project, 341 adult learners had enrolled, making up 12 classes.
- 14 instructors were trained by the project to run this course.
Like education, health awareness is a major component in the fight against child labour. Child labour can be exacerbated in large families, as parents are compelled to send one or more of the children to work and not to school. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other endemic diseases also results in orphaned children who are obliged to not only to fend for themselves, but often siblings too. According to UNICEF, over 18% of youth under 18 are orphans.
Certain cultural practices also carry health risks and therefore encourage child labour. Examples include the practice of acquiring cattle by marrying off girl children in exchange for animals as a dowry or as second wives to those who are economically successful. Both result in the girls being withdrawn from school. Furthermore, it became clear during the planning process for the project that no specific or dedicated measures were in place to protect children from the hazards of working on farms.
As a result:
- Six medical personnel were trained to identify and manage exposure to agriculture related hazards, including sunstroke and exposure to hazardous chemicals.
- 16 psycho-social counsellors were trained by professional psychologists to support post-exposure trauma from loss of a limb or vision or scarring. They also advised young women and couples about family planning and offered support to those with HIV. The counsellors reached nearly 6,000 people.
- 38 peer educators were trained to lead peer groups in their communities. These comprised of 10-20 members of the same sex and similar age, working together through a sequenced programme of sessions that enabled participants to explore a range of issues relating to child labour. Issues included gender roles, money, alcohol use, traditional practices, attitudes to sex and sexuality, attitudes to death and inter-generational relations. 929 peer education sessions on HIV/AIDS were conducted which reached over 17,000 people.
- Traditional healers and headmen were trained in how to manage hazards and established a referral system with the health care providers.
3. Advocacy and awareness-raising
The core message of the project was on the importance of education for children and the dangers of child labour. The campaign emphasised that:
- All members of society have the moral duty and obligation to recognize, promote and
protect the rights of the children, including the right to education and health to help them
grow to be healthy and productive human beings;
- All human beings, irrespective of their economic, social and political status are equal
before the law;
- Education for all children aged 7-18 years is an investment with higher returns than early employment in the agricultural commercial sector.
The project worked within existing structures and organisations to convey these messages. The Parents and Teachers Association (PTAs), the Primary Health Care Prevention Teams (PHCPTs), the Ministry of Labour and the Church all played a key role. The targets for the messages were wide-ranging: children themselves, parents, teachers at primary school level, the government, labour officials, the judiciary, members of parliament, religious leaders, farm owners, farmer associations and farm workers’ organizations and trade unions. The varying audiences were also reflected in the different and varied tools deployed.
But a key component of this objective was also the establishment of Child Labour Protection Committees (CLPCs). The CLPCs were trained in child labour prevention and protection and were also responsible for training wider communities in child labour participatory monitoring and evaluation and tracking systems for the withdrawal of children. They also functioned as ‘watchdogs’ in the community to detect child labour cases. The CLPCs comprised of community-based stakeholders – farmers groups, PTAs, PHCPTs , Community Welfare Association Committees, local leaders and village courts – and social partners – church leaders, police, and Neighbourhood Watch Committees.
- 2 drama groups were formed and trained.
- Over 28,000 people were sensitized about the dangers of child labour, at a total of 112 meetings.
- 4 Child Labour Protection Committees were trained.
- Information and education communication (IEC) materials were distributed: 600 T-shirts, 350 school bags and 80 identity cards.
- 4 radio programmes were produced and broadcast.
4. Economic strengthening
As part of the ongoing fight against child labour, the project encouraged and developed alternative sources of income, the economies of Mbabala and Tara to become more diversified. The role of women in the local financial and livelihood system also needed to be investigated to determine what other economic options could be developed.
The project therefore created a revolving fund which formed a credit and savings scheme for income generation. A credit committee was established, consisting of community members who were trained by the project in the selection of beneficiaries, credit disbursement and the accounting of loan funds. Individuals applying for a loan underwent a baseline interview to ascertain their monthly income; a follow-up interview took place after the first loan period to establish their change in income. Income-generating activities included gardening (following small-scale irrigation), goat-rearing and the production of crops such as oil seeds, cereals and tubers.
- 22 community members were trained as trainers in financial management.
- 877 community members were supported with agricultural inputs such as seeds and equipment.
- 40 community members were supported with irrigation equipment.
- 577 were issued with chickens and 427 with goats.
Project 2: ECLT II
Project in brief
|Project Name||Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Project II|
|Duration||1st September 2009 until 31st December 2011 (including three month extension period)|
|Expenditure||US$ 433,376 (including extension period)|
|Location||Choma and Kalomo districts (Southern Province)|
|Overall goal||To reduce demand for child labour amongst 15 commercial tobacco farmers and 100 small and medium-scale tobacco farmers. Over 1,150 children will be withdrawn from child labour and safeguarded from entering in child labour.|
|Objectives||1. To reduce the demand for child labour by raising awareness and tracking progress of withdrawn children in Choma and Kalomo Districts. 2. To strengthen capacities of key stakeholders in the fight against child labour at district and national level 3. To continue improving the living conditions of households of children at risk of entering into tobacco child labour.|
|Direct beneficiaries||1,150 children withdrawn or prevented from entering child labour; 100 small-scale tobacco farmers; 15 commercial tobacco farmers.|
1. Withdrawal, Prevention and Protection
- Over the course of the project, the project withdrew 1,207 children from child labour in tobacco.
2. Education and other basic social services
Improving access to and quality of primary education are proven strategies in eliminating child labour. The project placed a heavy emphasis on education and built on the successes of the first project.
- To prevent mothers from taking their smaller children in tobacco field and encourage early education, ECLT supported two pre-schools in Simunzele and Kalonda.
- Eight teachers were trained in teaching methodology and various curriculum subjects.
- More than 400 hundred children benefitted from the provision of recreational materials, desks, and the training of teachers.
- The project supported six primary schools and a total of 3,143 primary school age children.
- Primary school attendance and completion rates improved over the lifetime of the project, thanks to the provision of teaching and learning materials, desks and teacher training.
- In addition to text books, drawing boards, and recreational materials, the project provided six science kits to six schools and facilitated the training of 46 science teachers in the use and maintenance of these kits.
- Children in the six schools are now given high quality science teaching and increased chances of succeeding in their grade 9 examinations.
The project continued supporting the two ECLT-funded vocational training centers in Tara and Simunzele. These centres offer courses and alternative educational opportunities to young graduates and children who have dropped out of school.
- Thanks to the support of ECLT, the vocational centres are now registered and qualified trainers have been appointed by the government.
- To further strengthen the sustainability of the centres, in 2011 ECLT supported, as an income generating activity, the procurement of two grinding mills.
- These IGAs will cover both the running costs of the centres and the trainers’ salaries. This will help retain both trainers and students.
Throughout the project, local health centres were encouraged to raise awareness about child labour in tobacco and related illnesses. Furthermore:
- Nine health centres were supported with health screening kits after it was discovered that they did not have the capacity to screen tobacco-related illnesses and emergencies;
- This was complemented by the provision of training on the diagnosis and management of tobacco-related risks for a member of the medical staff from each of the nine Kalomo and Choma district health centres.
3. Capacity Building and Child Labour Monitoring
An important aspect of the project was to strengthen the capacity of the local structure to address issues of child labour.
- Two District Child Labour Committees (DCLC) for Kalomo and Choma were formed and trained in consultation with the Ministry of Labour and the ILO.
- 41 one DCLC members were trained on Child Labour identification, and prevention.
- Actions plans to prevent child labour were developed and mainstreamed into the respective departmental activities.
A major focus of the project was capacity building and awareness raising about child labour in tobacco growing among farmers and leaf technicians since they are the first to monitor child labour in the field.
- Over the course of the project 21 commercial farmers , nine leaf technicians and one labour inspector attended training sessions on the national and international framework regarding child labour and children’s rights.
- In addition 10 Child Labour Workplace Committees were formed at farm level to sensitize, monitor and report on child labour in tobacco agriculture.
4. Household Economic Strengthening
Poverty and food security remain some of the main drivers of child labour in tobacco growing in Zambia. The project therefore supported initiatives and activities that increased household income.
- To improve living conditions of vulnerable households and prevent children from entering into child labour, the project supported 145 households with goats and 40 with agriculture packs, including fertilizer, maize seed, agricultural lime, and herbicide.
- This initiative was undertaken on a pass-on basis, and beneficiaries were expected to share the goats with their neighbors once they have had kids.
- To strengthen the sustainability of this initiative, the distribution of the small livestock and conservation kits was complemented by a training session on livestock management and conservation farming.
- The 153 participants in the training now have improved farming skills which they can use to improve their food security and livelihoods.
5. Advocacy and Awareness Raising
Awareness Raising on child labour is a recognized strategy to address child labour. The project therefore used various visual and audio media to disseminate information and messages on child labour.
- About 1,100 communication materials were disseminated in the communities including posters, brochures and T-shirts as part of the project advocacy campaign.
A series of sensitization meetings and events were held to raise awareness about child labour in tobacco and increase knowledge about the impact it has on children’s development, health and education.
- Two World Days Against Child Labour were celebrated reaching over 5,000 people through special commemoration in the rural communities.
- The project also participated in Youth Day, Day of the African Child and World Aids Day Posters, brochures and t-shirts distributed which disseminated messages against child labour.
- The project developed radio programmes focusing on child labour. They featured interviews with key stakeholders, debates, discussions, drama performances, poems and songs about child labour written by children. A total of 15 programmes were aired on two radio stations.