A typical TBP would consist of a number of interventions aimed at preventing children from entering the WFCL, withdrawing and rehabilitating those children already engaged in such activities, and protecting all working children above the legal minimum age from exploitation and work hazards. Specifically:

  • Prevention strategies include efforts aimed at strengthening legislation and enforcement, improving educational opportunities and carrying out other enhancements to make the education system accessible and attractive to all boys and girls, raising household income, and increasing awareness of the consequences of the WFCL.
  • Rehabilitation includes, principally, the provision of health and counselling services as well as gender-sensitive educational and skills training opportunities for children withdrawn from child labour.
  • Protection from exploitation and hazardous work involves legislation and enforcement of labour standards and improvements in working conditions.

Broadly speaking, TBP measures may be grouped under two categories: “upstream” measures aimed at creating an enabling environment for the elimination of the WFCL, and “downstream” direct interventions targeted at population groups or economic sectors where WFCL are prevalent.

At the upstream level are policy and institutional issues in sectors or areas that determine national capacity for addressing the various dimensions of the child labour problem in an effective and sustainable manner. The effective eradication of the WFCL requires that all essential laws are in place and are effectively enforced, that policies are in place to enable all boys and girls below the minimum age for employment to attend school, that families have alternatives for earning their livelihoods rather than sending their children to work, and that the population is aware of the consequences of the WFCL and the special situation of girls and participates actively in the fight against it.

Effective action also requires operational arrangements for adequately responding to the needs of children found in the WFCL in terms of withdrawal and rehabilitation services, through institutional capacity building at central, regional and local levels. This institutional capacity building covers many aspects of planning, implementing and assessing the impact of interventions, as well as the creation of durable mechanisms to locate and react to instances of the WFCL. These mechanisms include, for example, rapid response facilities and child labour monitoring systems.

In contrast, the downstream, targeted interventions refer to specific measures to directly assist working children, at-risk children, former child labourers, and their families and communities. Where relevant, these interventions should reflect the specific needs of children relating to factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, caste and social class. Direct actions must aim at:

  • enhancing local capacity (government agencies, employers’ and workers’ organizations, NGOs and community groupings) to detect, monitor and manage action aimed at children in the WFCL. Needed measures include institutional and community mechanisms and information base for the timely identification of child labourers and children at risk;
  • establishing mechanisms for the withdrawal and rehabilitation of children found in the WFCL;
  • providing meaningful educational and vocational training alternatives for children in the WFCL and those at risk;
  • providing social safety nets and economic opportunities for families vulnerable to the WFCL;
  • promoting local awareness raising, advocacy and social mobilization for the prevention of these forms of exploitation; and
  • Setting up local child labour monitoring systems as well as rapid response mechanisms to rescue children and provide them with counselling, health and legal services.

In considering programme options, it is important to ensure that all major interventions essential for the realization of the TBP objectives are in place, but without unnecessary duplication. The TBP design thus seeks to capitalize on synergies between sectors and programme partners, strengthening existing interventions, if necessary, and making particular efforts to provide TBP target groups access to existing programmes, with new interventions developed to fill any existing policy and programme gaps.