Child labor exists in every region of the world, depriving children of education, exposing them to danger, and reinforcing inter-generational cycles of poverty. Governments and other actors tackle the problem through a variety of methods, including initiatives that strengthen legal protections and enforcement mechanisms, address poverty, improve access to education, and mobilize public support for children’s rights. In 2015, LWOB, in collaboration with Winrock International and Verité, launched work on the CLEAR II project (Country Level Engagement & Assistance to Reduce Child Labor II). The four-year seven-country project provided technical support to government and civil society stakeholders to address child labor issues through a multi-faceted approach which includes policy analysis, capacity building to support child monitoring and enforcement efforts, development of National Action Plans to eliminate child labor, and mainstreaming child labor into social policies and programs. The project kicked off in Nepal with an analysis of Nepalese laws relating to child labor with the goal of bringing their laws into compliance with international standards on child labor. A Legal Review Committee (LRC) was formed to review the recommendations at a legislative analysis workshop. LWOB and its partners continue to conduct comprehensive assessments of the child labor laws currently in place in specific countries in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia by analyzing relevant international agreements, and conducting workshops designed to support in-country efforts to harmonize their child labor laws with current international standards.
LWOB is also working with Winrock International and Partners of the Americas to implement the U.S. Department of Labor-funded project ATLAS: Attaining Lasting Change for Better Enforcement of Labor and Criminal Law to Address Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking. ATLAS works towards three interrelated outcomes: (1) strengthened labor and/or criminal legal frameworks concerning child labor, forced labor, and/or human trafficking by helping stakeholders gain the authority to act; (2) improved enforcement of labor and/or criminal frameworks by strengthening stakeholders’ capacity to act; and (3) increased coordination among law enforcement and social protection entities, which ensures that stakeholders have the mechanism to be effective.
The ATLAS project will be working in Argentina, Liberia, Paraguay, Thailand, and at least one other country over a minimum of four years. To date, the LWOB ATLAS team has been preparing for programming by conducting legislative analyses, developing trainer materials, and assisting in the development of a Body of Knowledge and an Enforcement Training Prosecution Manual. Virtual trainings and workshops are scheduled to begin by the end of 2020.