and Philippines: Successful
direct action programmes on Child
The plight of girls in Tanzania
In the United Republic of Tanzania, discrimination against girls
in terms of the work they are expected to do in the home and their
exclusion from family inheritance is having the effect of making
them actively seek domestic service work.
Tanzania ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention
in 1998 and is now implementing its provisions using IPEC-trained
labour inspectors. With IPEC support, the Ministry of Labour child
labour unit had developed a coherent, realistic and implementable
child labour policy by end-1999. The IPEC-supported programme in
the United Republic of Tanzania addresses the dangers of entering
domestic service while also taking into consideration the fact that
remaining at home implies abuse and a strong likelihood of education
A Tanzanian association of women journalists and
lawyers, known as TAMWA, has taken the lead in the prevention campaign
for child domestic workers, as a result of the growing number of
girls under 14 recruited from rural areas to work in the major urban
centres, such as Dar-es-Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza. TAMWA has to
date reached 4,500 girls in six locations.
TAMWA operates centres at the points where the
girls are recruited, contacts them on their arrival in the cities
and provides basic assistance to them. Women domestic workers help
by offering support and guidance to the girls. TAMWA also carries
out awareness-raising campaigns in the media and conducts village
seminars for parents and community leaders; these have contributed
to a sharp decline in recruitment.
The Tanzania Federation of Trade Unions has also
formulated a package of interventions against child domestic labour
and in one region of the country its actions reduced recruitment
by 65-70 per cent over a five month period in 13 villages.
Visayan Forum, Manila
In the Philippines, a particularly successful project is being carried
out by Visayan Forum, a national NGO. Facing the problem of being
unable to make contact with child domestic workers in their place
of work, Visayan Forum has organized a scheme known as Luneta Park
Activities' at Luneta Park in Manila, where the child domestics
congregate on Sundays. This has proved to be an effective method
of providing direct services. It has even led to the creation of
an Association of Household Workers.
Launched with IPEC support, the project has achieved
the following results:
n children have been
assisted in leaving abusive working conditions and reunited with
their families or relatives
n basic needs of child domestic workers,
such as temporary shelter, medical care, legal assistance, counseling
and schooling expenses have been provided on a regular basis
n children have been educated to support
their peers and negotiate better working conditions
n many children have gained leadership
skills and have taken part in advocacy and awareness-raising programmes,
resulting in improved practice by employers.
Since 1997, Visayan Forum has provided services
to 1,500 child domestic workers and has expanded operations to three
more cities, reaching some 2,000 more children.
Visayan Forum has also organized consultations
with the domestics themselves human rights groups and legal practitioners
to map out a common strategy to lobby for the adoption of a proposed
House Helper Act.
IPEC Domestic Sector Projects on the ground
There a total of 82 IPEC programmes worldwide
aimed at children working in the domestic sector. Of these,
40 programmes target children directly, and 32 of these direct
action programmes are flagged as working with children involved
in the worst forms of child labour. The geographical spread
is comprehensive: Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya,
Madagascar, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand and Turkey
all being involved.