CAPSA - Capacity Strengthening of Governments to Address Child Labor and/or Forced Labor, and Violations of Acceptable Conditions of Work in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project Duration
December 2019
December 2024
Funding and Year

The CAPSA project seeks to build the capacity of the Governments of Kenya and Uganda to more effectively combat child labor, forced labor, and violations of acceptable conditions of work. It does this by helping the governments strengthen enforcement of their laws and regulations, improve assistance services for victims, and enhance coordination between law enforcement and social protection entities.

The Problem

In 2020, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that there were 79 million child laborers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Forced labor in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to affect some 3.4 million people, according to the most recent estimates. 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.

In Uganda, children are subjected to the worst forms of child labor in gold mining and commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. The country also faces gaps in their legal framework, including inadequate laws regulating the minimum age for employment and hazardous work. In addition, the lack of a centralized supervisory authority along with inadequate funding, training, and resources has hampered the capacity of law enforcement agencies to conduct child labor inspections and investigations.

Our Strategy

The CAPSA project works to increase the capacity of host governments in Kenya and Uganda 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, including with the Eastern African Community (EAC), in addressing child labor and/or forced labor and violations of acceptable conditions of work in the region.  

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 established a National Steering Committee on Child Labor and issued a policy statement for the establishment of the County Child Labor Committees. These committees are intended to streamline reporting and monitoring processes and coordinate efforts with local actors to combat child labor. To date, County Child Labor Committees have been created in Kajiado, Nairobi, Kwale and Bungoma
  • To date, more than 200 law enforcement officers, union members, and criminal justice stakeholders in Kenya have been trained on child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. These interactive trainings provided participants an opportunity to further their knowledge on human trafficking and the services available to victims and to share knowledge on the topic. 
  • In collaboration with the Eastern African Community (EAC), the project is building partnerships with EAC’s institutions on issues related to child labor, forced labor, and violations of acceptable conditions of work and human trafficking.
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor