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 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.
Worldwide, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 152 million child laborers, of which 72 million are in Africa. In addition, the ILO estimates that there are 3.4 million people in forced labor in Africa. Child laborers and victims of forced labor typically work in situations that fall outside the internationally recognized acceptable conditions of work, such as unsafe working conditions and wages below the legal minimum wage. These often illegal practices can enable producers to cut costs, and therefore provide an unfair advantage to producers and countries that fail to comply with their trade-related labor commitments and/or internationally recognized labor standards. These practices may also 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 the worst forms of child labor, including in agriculture, industry, commercial sexual exploitation, and in the informal sector. Kenya is also a source, transit, and destination country for children and adults subjected to forced labor and trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Gaps persist and contribute to child labor, forced labor, and the inadequate protection of workers in Kenya, including 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. In Kenya, gaps with respect to acceptable conditions of work include 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 enforcement of their legal framework 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.