The RICHES project aims to integrate the issues of child labor alleviation and acceptable conditions of work into women’s economic empowerment initiatives. By putting a new toolkit directly in the hands of policy makers and service providers who work with women entrepreneurs, RICHES seeks to ensure women-led enterprises can improve livelihoods responsibly without resorting to child labor or other harmful labor practices.
Few within the women’s economic empowerment community would expect that investments in women’s enterprises could increase the risk or incidence of child labor or negatively impact working conditions. Yet, as women entrepreneurs struggle to manage the additional labor burden of bigger businesses alongside household tasks and unpaid care work, they are turning for help to those closest in reach- their children. As their enterprises expand, they and household and community members may be exposed to working conditions that endanger their health or safety.
In order to support women entrepreneurs to make decisions with optimal outcomes for children and workers, women’s economic empowerment initiative service providers and policy makers need tools that can build awareness and influence behaviors.
The Reducing Incidence of Child labor and Harmful conditions of Work in Economic Strengthening Initiatives (RICHES) is a multi-sectoral capacity building project led by an integrated team of experts in women’s economic empowerment and rule of law.
RICHES will develop and deploy tools to better equip policy makers and service providers to educate women entrepreneurs to comply with laws protecting children and promoting acceptable conditions of work. The tools will be tested in two strategic locations, El Salvador and the Philippines. Once tested, the tools will be available for broader distribution and global application.