Tackling the worst forms of child labour
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, with a population approaching 220 million. Almost 30 percent of this population is below the age of 15. While significant progress has been made in expanding access to education, more than 4 million children of junior secondary school age do not attend school. Many children enter the workforce at an early age, and many are vulnerable to exploitation in the worst forms of child labour.
In 2001 the Government of Indonesia established a National Action Committee on the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour. The Committee prepared a National Action Plan for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour which identifies as its objective the need “To prevent and eliminate the worst forms of child labour through a three-phase programme over twenty years”. The National Plan of Action constitutes a time-bound programme to urgently eliminate the worst forms of child labour. The Government has since taken steps to strengthen the legal framework to tackle child labour and child exploitation. At the same time, various new policy initiatives have indicated an increasing level of Government commitment to expanding access to education, with initiatives to reduce the costs of education to poor families, expand education in rural areas, and provide cash subsidies to poor families on condition that school-age children attend school.
With support from US Department of Labour, ILO-IPEC implemented a project of support for the operationalisation of the National Action Plan from 2004 to 2007. The project worked to support an improved policy framework, build public awareness, strengthen institutional capacity and develop and implement models for tackling child labour at the community level. ILO-IPEC is continuing its support to the Government of Indonesia on implementing the National Action Plan through the second phase of the project, which will be implemented from 2007 to 2011.
The Phase II project provides support through targeted interventions, the development of models for the removal of children from the worst forms of child labour, and the prevention of children entering such labour. The project will also support work to improve capacity for action on child labour by stakeholders to enable effective implementation and monitoring of the second five years of the National Action Plan, continued mainstreaming of child labour in policy frameworks, and effective delivery of the child labour component of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme; and to support awareness raising of the worst forms of child labour and the importance of education for all children.
The project will build on the achievements of the first phase project, whilst introducing a number of new elements.
- The first part of the strategy will focus on continuing to promote a positive policy and enabling environment. This will include work on promoting policies to tackle child labour in national and local policy and programme frameworks, improving the knowledge base, improving the legal environment, awareness raising and advocacy, and building the capacity of stakeholders. Through this work the project will help to advance, in a qualitative way, the national effort to eliminate worst forms of child labour.
- The second part of the strategy will involve direct, targeted interventions in four sectors: child domestic labour, children in plantations, trafficking for sexual exploitation and street children at risk of trafficking and drug trafficking. Through programmes in these four areas, the project will aim to remove children from the worst forms of child labour and prevent other children entering such work. The intention is that these interventions will provide models that can be replicated elsewhere by the Government and others in their own efforts to implement the National Action Plan and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.
The programme will include some significant new components, including a linkage with the Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer programme (Program Keluarga Harapan), and partnership with a private sector Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.
A total of 22,000 children will be targeted for withdrawal and prevention from exploitative and/or hazardous work through the provision of educational and non-educational services following direct action from the project. Of this total, 6,000 will be withdrawn from work and 16,000 will be prevented from being engaged in child labour. In addition some 2,000 family members will receive support through programmes aimed at increasing economic security and livelihoods of families with children in or at risk of child labour.
The project will work closely with ILO-IPEC’s partners from government, from workers’ and employers’ organizations and from NGOs. Building on the progress achieved to date, and incorporating lessons learned with good practices, the project aims to produce a positive, sustainable and replicable impact.
- Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration
- Ministry of National Education
- Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo)
- Trade unions
- NGOs concerned with child labour