Together Against Child Labor in Tunisia (PROTECTE)
The PROTECTE project will strengthen Tunisia’s ability to implement their Child Labor National Action Plan (NAP), a multi-stakeholder effort involving government, business, and civil society. The project will turn policy and promises into action by facilitating a comprehensive approach to safeguarding every child’s right to attend school and avoid exploitative labor.
A significant number of children in Tunisia engage in exploitative child labor, many of whom are among the estimated 100,000 children who drop out of school each year. Lacking in education and skills, these children are ill-equipped to enter the formal job market when they come of age. Further, these children are vulnerable to human trafficking and to becoming child soldiers. Especially in rural areas, children are most often found working in the informal sector, disconnected from government services, in workshops, on farms, or in businesses run by their families. Children are also engaged in forced domestic work and in smuggling illicit goods in border areas.
In support of Tunisia’s Child Labor National Action Plan, the project will work with key Government and civil society stakeholders, especially the National Child Labor Steering Committee, to reduce the prevalence of child labor and strengthen the technical and operational abilities of these groups. Research will be undertaken to better understand the nature, prevalence and harmfulness of child labor. The project will also establish coordination mechanisms for social service provision to vulnerable children, while also working with service providers to increase the comprehensiveness of efforts to ensure that a range of needs are met. Additionally, the project will increase awareness among families and employers of the dangers of child labor and the importance of keeping children safe and in school. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the project provided direct support to children at risk of engaging in hazardous work.
To date, key results include improving services for children in two key rural governorates, establishing an effective body to coordinate efforts across Ministries, executing a celebrated nationwide television campaign, and facilitating the passage of key policies in order to in order to meet international standards.