Global March

Using area based approach to address child labour in coffee supply chain in Uganda

Project: Addressing Child Labour in Agricultural Supply Chains, Global to Local

Donor – Bread for the World

Country: Uganda

In Uganda’s coffee growing regions, children as young as 10 are engaged in various tasks and hazardous conditions related to coffee farming, from working on the farms in extreme weathers to carrying huge loads of coffee on their heads walking for miles on rough terrains. Regions such as Mbale, known for producing the finest of Arabica coffee, attracts an un-researched number of child labourers. The corona virus pandemic that enforced one of Africa’s most stringent school lockdowns has made the challenge of curbing child labour in the region even more daunting.

Through the Addressing Child Labour in Agricultural Supply Chains, Global to Local intervention, our implementing partners ANPPCAN and NOTU are using the area based approach, introducing the Child Labour Monitoring System in Mbale and Munafwa regions of Uganda to address child labour in the coffee supply chains. Communities and schools are engaged to understand the process of CLMS and become key stakeholders in its management for sustainable monitoring of child labour, ensuring withdrawls and referrals for identified children for school enrollment. The information generated via CLMS also acts as data for companies for risk assessment and scoping access to remedy. Additionally, CSO mobilization at advocacy efforts at the local level and with relevant stakeholders and duty-bearers helps to mainstream child labour in government work by not only enhancing the government’s accountability but also supporting its work through participation of other stakeholders. In this way, it also facilitates coordination and cooperation with different stakeholders including local industries and employers not only to share information, but also implement joint solutions.

A key impact of such an approach has been a joint resolution by coffee companies, UCDA (Uganda coffee development authority), district level government bodies and CSO members to commit towards good practices for child labour free coffee supply chains; receive referrals concerning child labour for access to remedy and scaling up the inspection of the coffee farms, factories, and other suspected to ensure that children are not employed in other sectors as well.

A CLMS, that is a part of area based approach also has the prospect to integrate other good practices focusing on generating livelihood for farmers, improving their capacity for better income and access to food security amongst others. Our “seeds for education” intervention in the project areas is a regionally tailored and unique solution to address the absence of the school feeding programmes, curb the incidents of child labour and minimise the negative impacts of COVID-19.


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