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Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

2.1 ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.2. Advocacy Methods on IE legal and policy framework development

Recommendation: 4. Improve advocacy on child labourers (who often work in the informal economy) by using quality data to advocate for economic empowerment of affected households through government programming.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: The evaluation determined that, based on the evaluation of the project in Ethiopia and evaluations of similar projects in other countries, when families are economically empowered, they will not need to put their children into exploitative child labour. To accomplish economic empowerment, the project worked to improve the livelihoods of children and families involved in child labour among other actions. This included attention to increasing the productivity of adults, improved occupational safety and health, as well as increased access to micro-finance. E-FACE also included vocational training for older children to economically empower them.

E-FACE—which stands for Ethiopians Fighting against Child Exploitation—is a multi-organizational effort to reduce the number of children involved in child labour and trafficking in Ethiopia, specifically in its weaving industry. Over nearly three weeks in Ethiopia, the evaluation team visited the three areas of Ethiopia the project was operational in: Gamo Gofa Zone, Wolaita Zone, and the capital Addis Ababa.

One of the main challenges originally facing the project was to coordinate with the government but the limited awareness on the issue at hand on the part of the government officials at local level interfered with this., Government officials and also the public were not yet entirely aware of the full extent to which child exploitation was occurring. As a result, child traffickers and informal businesses employing child labour were able to operate informally.  Government was not aware of their existence and unable to intervene in their affairs. To work on this, the project made advocacy and awareness-raising among their primary focuses.

Government officials, police, labour inspectors, and social workers were invited to trainings where they were further educated on the realities of child labour and child trafficking in their areas, and were advised on actions that they could take to help reduce them. Their awareness that poverty is the cause of child labour increased. The government officials, now more aware that such a serious problem existed, actually already had many of the tools to begin taking action on these challenges. These included local government specialists to provide support and monitoring on livelihoods and related subjects.

Officials emphasized their desire to continue to regulate and monitor the situation long after the project had ended. During the evaluation all of the government officials spoke about their commitment to eradicating exploitative child labour and have put by-laws in place in every project location to regulate it. The by-laws cover areas beyond the areas in which the project was active thus vastly increasing the impact of the project.

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2.1 ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.2. Advocacy Methods on IE legal and policy framework development

Recommendation: 5. Advocate with local government and use a holistic approach when addressing issues surrounding child labourers.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: A holistic approach and strong emphasis on working with local government to address exploitive child labour and associated child trafficking are useful to increase impact and the potential for sustainability.

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2.1 ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.3 Supportive legal frameworks development, adoption and implementation

Recommendation: 8. Promote the development of codes of conduct among business associations/cooperative members in IE sectors. Train labour inspectors and other monitoring agents to verify the implementation of codes of conduct, if existent in the association/cooperative.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: The evaluation identified an example of government commitment in the integration of the E-FACE supported weavers’ code of conduct into local government routine labour inspections. To help ensure the implementation of the code of conduct and more general labour laws, the project provided training to 523 labour inspectors. The evaluator visited and discussed the code of conduct with ministry officials who expressed appreciation for the labour inspectors training.

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2.1 ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.8 Organising informal economy groups

Recommendation: 1. Promote the organising of people dependent on the IE into business associations or cooperatives to enable them to formalise and access possible government or other support. Include capacity strengthening focus on:

  • working together,
  • increase in sharing, exchanging and lending between community members of material goods, sharing of ideas and skills.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: Organizing producers into business associations or cooperatives to help formalize the support that they may obtain from government is useful to increase economic empowerment.

The evaluation noted that a significant number in all groups agreed there was benefits to the community arising from increased working together, and an increase in sharing, exchanging and lending between community members. This related not just to material goods, but also to sharing of ideas and skills. Increased trust within the community had increased opportunities for borrowing and lending and the giving of credit. There have also been increased interactions between different members of the community, leading to new friendships and a strengthening of existing friendships. The community has also benefited from a decrease in the level of begging and a reduced feeling of dependence on others.

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2.2 DECENT WORK AND ENTERPRISE GROWTH

2.2.3 OSH implementation in IE

Recommendation: 5. When promoting implementation of OSH approaches in the IE, mention any relevant associated business benefits such as improved product quality and quantity as a result of OSH technologies.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: The efforts of businesses operating in the informal economy to improve occupational safety and health issues are effective at improving decent work conditions for adults and for older children (older than 14 years). Efforts to improve hygiene in the workplace and use appropriate technologies appear to have increased the quality of products.

E-FACE provided support for the implementation of improved working conditions that affected older children who are allowed to work under decent conditions as well as adults.

Business owners who were interviewed pointed out that the improved conditions also contributed to better production quality. As one business owner pointed out, “The textiles were not clean because of the dust, but now our products are neater and that attracts customers.” Youth participating in weaving associations likewise indicated that the improved working conditions, including better looms, contributed to an improvement in product quality.

Weavers in three groups, one of which was the youth group, reported similar points regarding changes in the quantity. They commented that, “Now we are saving our energy and it is easier to make more in less time. It is also more comfortable so we can reduce our hours to make the same quantity.” All three groups reported that they did not make more overall but rather that they were able to reduce their working hours. One weaver noted that, “We worked every night at home but now only in daytime in our group work place”.

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2.2 DECENT WORK AND ENTERPRISE GROWTH

2.2.3 OSH implementation in IE

Recommendation: 10. Promote use of OSH risk assessments of IE types work to help define improved approaches to improve OSH conditions.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: 

1) Risk assessment techniques are important tools that facilitate the evaluation of risks, the establishment of priorities and the setting of standards at plant level.

2) Methods included risk assessments of conditions in home-based weaving. Critical points identified were very unventilated, dusty and dark rooms, very unhealthy physical working positions, and excessive working hours.

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2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.5. Micro finance

6. Ensure that projects promote realistic expectations of the benefits of micro finance groups and services to avoid discouragement of members. Ensure that members understand that it takes time for their activities to grow even if micro finance or other support is provided.

Reference: Zegers, Mei, 2016, Independent Final Evaluation of Ethiopians fighting against Child Exploitive Labor (E-Face), Final Report, USDOL, O’Brien & Associates International, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: The evaluation found that, despite the overall positive functioning of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups, most members indicated that they felt disappointed that they were not been able to increase their incomes as much as they would have liked. One possible explanation for the disappointment is that the VSLA members had unrealistic expectations at the start of the project. It takes time to build well-functioning VSLAs, especially using mechanisms where no kick-starter funds are provided from the project to help the group grow quickly.

 

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Alessio Lupi
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18 May 2018

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