Improving Strategies for Eradicating Child Labor in Value Chains

Aidenvironment is working to improve strategies to eradicate child labor in value chains using community-based child labor free zones. These have been evaluated in various studies and the results are being used to inform upcoming projects by UTZ/RA. 

Our involvement began with the evaluation of a program on implementing the child labor free zone (CLFZ) approach, with case studies in several countries: Uganda (coffee), India (Natural stone and garment), Mali (local food crops). The CLFZ approach is an intensive approach that includes raising awareness, developing household level child labor mitigation plans and monitoring, establishing community-based child labor committees and savings and loan systems, and enhancing the quality of education in local schools. It is important to draw conclusions on the cost-effectiveness of the CLFZ approach as its inclusive approach to all community members makes it much more costly than supply-chain-based approaches.

However, because the CLFZ approach is sustained through the community, in the long run it can be more effective in rooting out child labor risks within an area rather than just focusing on one crop or supply chain. More recently, a baseline study for UTZ/RA compared different intensities of implementing the CLFZ approach in Uganda. In addition, a local impact study was finalized on the incidence of child labor in two coffee production areas in Uganda: the Rwenzori and Masaka. This was done as a preparatory phase for a project to be implemented by UTZ/RA in collaboration with a local coffee company, funded by RVO. The local impact study included a survey among households, a survey of local schools, and interviews with various stakeholders to assess the risks and hotspots of child labor as well as gain insights into the root causes of child labor. Interviews and focus group discussions were held, including with children of different age groups. A guidance document on conducting a local impact study is being developed.

For more information, please contact Jan Joost Kessler