CAPSA - Capacity Strengthening of Governments to Address Child Labor and/or Forced Labor, and Violations of Acceptable Conditions of Work in Sub-Saharan Africa
The CAPSA project seeks to build the capacity of the Government of Kenya and other African governments to more effectively combat child labor, forced labor, and violations of acceptable conditions of work. It does this by helping them strengthen enforcement of their laws and regulations, improve assistance services for victims, and improve coordination between law enforcement and social protection entities.
In 2016, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that there were 72 million child laborers and 3.4 million people in forced labor in Africa. Child laborers and victims of forced labor typically work in situations that fall outside internationally recognized acceptable conditions of work, such as in unsafe working conditions or being paid wages below the legal minimum wage. These often-illegal practices can enable producers to cut costs, providing them and the countries in which their goods are produced with an unfair economic advantage. These practices also may harm workers and businesses in the United States when they are competing with products made by children and/or workers in forced labor.
In Kenya, children are engaged in child labor in agriculture, industry, and the informal sector, and some are exploited sexually for commercial gain. As a result, Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for children and adults subjected to forced labor and trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Gaps in Kenya’s legal framework and policies, weak enforcement of labor laws, a lack of information on enforcement and coordination activities, and insufficient assistance services to victims all contribute to child labor, forced labor, and the inadequate protection of workers in the country. Relating to conditions of work, Kenya is susceptible to work-week and overtime violations, weak enforcement of occupational safety and health regulations, and insufficient fines to deter unsafe practices.
The CAPSA project works to increase the capacity of host governments in Kenya and, at a minimum, one additional Sub-Saharan African country, to reduce child labor and/or forced labor and violations of acceptable conditions of work by supporting host governments to:
- improve the enforcement of their legal frameworks and/or policies pertaining to child labor and/or forced labor and violations of acceptable conditions of work;
- improve assistance services for victims of child labor and/or forced labor; and
- strengthen partnerships to accelerate progress in addressing child labor and/or forced labor and violations of acceptable conditions of work.
This work involves identifying roles and responsibilities of government and other relevant stakeholders; mapping, improving, and/or assisting in the establishment of law enforcement and social protection programs and coordination systems, processes, and activities; and strengthening cross-country and in-country partnerships.
- In collaboration with the CAPSA project, Kenya’s Ministry of Labor has established a National Steering Committee on Child Labor and issued a policy statement for the establishment of the County Child Labour Committees. To date, County Child Labour Committees have been created in Bungoma and Kwale.
- To date, 33 law enforcement officers in Kenya have been trained on child labor, forced labor and human trafficking. The training utilized interactive methods for learning, such as role-playing where participants developed trafficking and forced labor scenarios and dramatized them for an audience of their peers. The skits created an opportunity to demonstrate how trafficking is organized and how services are provided to victims of trafficking by a range of service providers, while also integrating the knowledge and experience of participants.