Start date: 2015
End date: /
UNATU has been participating since 2015 in the development of a child labour free zone in Erussi subcounty (West Nile region), along with partners such as the NGO CEFORD and the coffee company Kyagalanyi. The success of the Erussi project has led UTZ to involve the same partners in developing a child-labor-free area in Zombo, a district near Erussi. 15 schools of Erussi and 12 schools of Zimbo are involved in this project.
In this region, children are mainly employed in domestic work, agricultural activities and selling in markets.
- Training 225 teachers and school directors in fighting child labour. This includes training on the international and national legal framework, on the basic minimum education standards, on the introduction of a child-centred pedagogy. There were training sessions on how to provide guidance and counselling: how to identify potential child labourers in the classroom, find out the problems and invite parents for discussions or if necessary, involve the community leaders. There was also training on the safety and security of children both on the journey to school and within the school premises, and the use of alternative disciplinary measures based on Ministry of Education guidelines. There was also training for teachers on how to communicate “gender” and secure girls’ education and how to provide guidance and counselling on sexuality, in particular puberty and menstrual management,
- Trained teachers visit households to talk to parents about the importance of education,
- Setting up music, dance, sports, debating and other clubs in each schools, and the provision of sports equipment and uniforms,
- Using the media to sensitize on child labour,
- Lobby to improve local school infrastructures,
- Developing posters and manuals to sensitize on child labour and issued related to early marriage and early pregnancies,
- Developing Talking compound’: placing highly visible messages in the school grounds, on child labour and other social messages.
Among the main results:
- School rolls grew by 28% between 2015 and 2019 in the 15 schools included in the Erussi project, while the drop-out rate has fallen dramatically. The number of UNATU members in Erussi also increased by 23% in the same period,
- The teachers in Erussi and Zombo understand that they need to serve as role models in the community: being present at school regularly, making sure their own children go to school and not using children as domestic workers at home,
- A conducive learning environment, including “hanging up the stick”, the clear rejection of corporal punishment and the use of alternative disciplinary measures,
- Successful focus on girl child: This is a successful multi-faceted strategy, including ensuring there are female teachers in the school, training on positive reinforcement of girls’ educational attainment, guidance and counselling, provision of positive role models for girls, menstruation management, the provision of separate toilets for girls and boys, including washrooms/changing rooms for girls, and addressing the high incidence of early marriage and teenage pregnancy,
- Development of “school-feeding” programmes,
- Strengthening of the roles of school management committees and parents teachers associations, and of their relations with teachers,
- Enhanced standing and visibility for UNATU,
- General improvement in labour relations, leading to an improvement in the payment of wages and affiliation fees,
- Increased capacity for lobbying, networking and advocacy,
- Formation of the Erussi Sub-County Steering Committee on Child Labour, including the main community leaders to ensure the sustainability of the project.
Samuel Grumiau (EI): email@example.com
GEW Fair Childhood Foundation, AOb, Mondiaal FNV, HIVOS, UTZ