ILO-supported child friendly centres established in Mosul for children vulnerable to child labour

The centres will support around 400 children, through various activities, including awareness raising sessions, informal education, catch-up schooling, and psychosocial support.

Article | 16 August 2021
Mosul, Iraq (ILO news) Child friendly learning spaces have been set up at five schools in the Iraqi city of Mosul, offering recreational activities and non-formal education to boys and girls under the age of 18 who are vulnerable to child labour.

The centres are supported by the ILO, under a project to tackle the worst forms of child labour in Iraq with funding from the European Regional Development Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II)   – a joint European initiative by the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland and Switzerland.

The programme targets children in or at risk of child labour among Internally Displaced Persons, refugees, and vulnerable host communities in Duhok and Ninewa through a number of activities. These include piloting a Child Labour Monitoring System, increasing access to tailored formal and non-formal education for children, providing skills training and income-generating activities to older siblings and caretakers of vulnerable children to support them in accessing alternative income possibilities for the family, and supporting the development of a National Action Plan against child labour.

The centres, which were officially opened at the end of July 2021, will support up to 400 children, in close coordination with local authorities including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. They will serve as areas where children who have been withdrawn from child labour can engage in awareness raising sessions, informal education, catch-up schooling, and other activities, allowing children to enjoy age-appropriate activities and preparing them for formal education.

Psychosocial and first aid support will also be provided at these centres. The centres will also follow up on child labour cases, in coordination with facilitators and social case workers, as part of the monitoring system which is being developed under the project.

In other efforts to support the gradual reinsertion of children in education in the targeted areas, the project, through its implementing partners Al-Tahreer Association for Development and Kurdistan Save the Children, is conducting a series of training workshops for teachers, social workers and inspectors in Ninewa and Dohuk to build their capacities in addressing child labour in the country.