My-PEC: Myanmar Program on the Elimination of Child Labor
The goal of the project is to reduce child labor in Burma through the establishment of a comprehensive, inclusive and efficient multistakeholder response
Before the project began, there was no comprehensive, reliable data on the incidence and nature of child labor in Burma. Anecdotal evidence suggested that child labor most likely existed in the agriculture sector and in the informal economy where the poorest and most vulnerable families are employed. The Government had not developed specific policies or programs to address the issue. Neither national nor state/regional authorities had been trained or sensitized on definitions or concepts related to child labor, or on the differences between child labor and child work. On December 18, 2013 the Government ratified ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, however, the Government has not yet ratified ILO convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age of work.
Specific objectives include:
- Expand the knowledge base on child labor in Burma;
- Increase public awareness of and knowledge about child labor within Burma;
- Improve legislation to address child labor in accordance with international standards;
- Strengthen the capacity of the national and local governments, civil society, labor unions, employer organizations and other key actors to address, network, and advocate on child labor issues and to support the reduction of child labor;
- Reduce child labor in target communities by removing children from the worst forms of child labor through educational and livelihoods interventions.
Activities are focused on the following:
- Provide support to promote the adoption of revisions to the legal and regulatory framework for compliance with ILO Convention 182;
- Build national research capacity and provide technical support to the GOB in its efforts to collect data and conduct analysis on child labor through a child labor module within the National Labor Force Survey;
- Support studies on conditions of work in selected agricultural sub-sectors where child labor is prevalent;
- Support a study on conditions of child domestic work in Burma;
- Mainstream child labor concerns into the Myanmar National Education Sector Plan;
- Conduct targeted awareness-raising campaigns on the worst forms of child labor;
- Provide training to the Factory General Labor Law Inspection Department (FGLLID) inspectorate and develop training materials to mainstream child labor into the training curriculum for labor inspectors;
- Provide training to employers’ organizations on corporate social responsibility and advocacy on supply chain agreements and code of conduct on child labor;
- Provide training to workers’ organizations on international child labor standards and how to advocate and monitor compliance with child labor laws and working conditions of workers under 18;
- Establish models in 3 selected project areas to remove and prevent 3,600 children and 1,000 households from engaging in the worst forms of child labor through targeted education and livelihood interventions;
- Support the establishment of a Child Labor Monitoring System and referral mechanism.
The My-PEC project will reduce child labor in Burma through the collection of national level data on child labor, awareness raising, capacity building, and policy formation in compliance with international standards. The project will provide educational services to support the withdrawal and prevention of 3,600 children from the worst forms of child labor and will also provide livelihood support to their households (1,000). Direct services are being provided in target communities in Yangon, Ayeyarwady Region, and Mon State.
The My-PEC project has assisted the Government to:
- Draft Terms of Reference and Operational Guidelines for the Technical Working Group on Child Labor
- Amend The Shops and Establishments Act and The Factories Act to be in line with international standards. This raised the minimum age for work to 14 years of age and the minimum age for hazardous work to 18 years in both Acts.
- Convene a National Consultation Workshop to develop the country’s first National Action Plan on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, which was held in March 2017. There were four workshops held for regional, youth, and specific industrial zone participation leading up to the national workshop
- Draft the country’s first Hazardous List of Work to be prohibited for children below 18 years of age
- Publish the Myanmar Labor Force, Child Labor, and School-to-Work transition Survey in November 2016.
The My-PEC project has published:
- A legal review of national laws and regulations related to child labor in Myanmar in light of international laws and standards (October 2015)
- Rapid Assessment on child Labor in Hlaing Thar Yar Industrial Zone in Yangon, Myanmar (October 2015)
- Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP study on child labor in Yangon, Ayeyarwady Region, and Mon State (January 2016)
- Agriculture Sub-Sector Child Labor Surveys. Children working in the cultivation and processing of Inland Fishing Stocks, Sugarcane, and Beans and Pulses in Myanmar (April 2017)
- Background Report for the National Action Plan on child labor in Myanmar – An overview of issues to be considered in the development of the NAP (April 2017)
- ILO Guide to Myanmar Labor Law (September 2017)
The MY-PEC project assisted the Myanmar Garment Manufacturer Association’s (MGMA) mainstream child labor concerns into its ten year Strategic Plan and Code of Conduct.
As of March 31, 2018, the project has provided education services to 3,236 children engaged in or at-risk of entering child labor and 870 households received livelihood services. It has also trained 48 labor inspectors and 150 teachers on child labor concepts.