Action against Child Labor in Agriculture in West Africa
In the West Africa region, nearly 23 per cent of all children are estimated to be in child labor. Of those children, over 80 per cent live in rural areas and work in agriculture, primarily consisting of family subsistence and smallholder agricultural production. The informal nature and geographic scope of agricultural production represents a major challenge to effective action against child labor in agricultural communities. Efforts to support regional collaboration to scale up promising practices by national governments and communities offer a means for addressing these challenges. Effectively combatting child labor in rural, agricultural areas of West Africa will require the active engagement of regional and national organizations with the capacity to mobilize resources, engage agricultural communities and stakeholders, and implement effective social protection systems. Action is also needed to support occupational safety and health among agricultural producers and monitor and evaluate interventions for effectiveness. This project will address child labor through technical assistance to address these gaps.
The ACLAWA project aims to support the efforts of the Government of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States in order to combat child labor. To achieve its goal, the project will conduct activities to achieve two Outcomes:
- Increased capacity of ECOWAS to implement the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to eliminate child labor
- Increased mobilization of ECOWAS Member States to implement National Action Plans to eliminate child labor.
ACLAWA will support ECOWAS to mobilize resources and conduct advocacy in support of its Regional Action Plan; to develop and operationalize the ECOWAS Child Labor/Forced Labor Accountability Tool for monitoring and reporting on implementation of the RAP; and support wider adoption and use of the ECOWAS Peer Review mechanism to support direct coordination between ECOWAS Member States to align child labor policies. The ACLAWA project will also support the Government of Nigeria to improve the legislative, policy, and enforcement enabling environment for addressing child labor, and will support cocoa-producing communities in Ondo State to develop and implement community actions plans to address child labor in the production of cocoa.