A Free Inter-Agency Toolkit: Supporting the Protection Needs of Child Labourers in Emergencies

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This toolkit has been developed through strong inter-agency collaboration at the global level in support of the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, 2012 (CPMS), Minimum Standard 12 Child Labour.

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Approaching child labour in humanitarian contexts differs significantly from longer-term child labour programming. As such this toolkit focuses on providing guidance in-line with CPMS 12 Child Labour to support:

  • Children in or at-risk from the most serious and most prevalent forms of child labour, namely the WFCL that have occurred as a consequence of, or have been exacerbated by the emergency
  • New forms of child labour and new and prevalent risks that have occurred as a result of the emergency.

As children’s work is interconnected and can be considered across a continuum, the toolkit will discuss child labour more broadly and its worst forms in isolation and together. Those at risk of the WFCL will often already be in child labour which causes harm and prevents them from attending school.

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Where the impact of an emergency has affected the ability of families and communities to cope, and resources and capacity to respond are limited, the focus should be on addressing the WFCL but within strategies aimed at broadly improving children’s protection, families’ income, and their learning and education opportunities to reduce levels of harmful child labour overall.

This toolkit is structured in 3 inter-linked sections, each with numbered individual chapters. There is a significant amount of information in the toolkit, which reflects the complexity of addressing child labour in humanitarian action.

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It has been designed to meet only the needs of child protection practitioners but also to be of use to colleagues working in education and economic strengthening activities as it is recognised that efforts at address child labour hinge on children’s access to protection, learning and sustainable livelihoods.

As it is recognised very few people will need all the guidance at any one time, and will have varying levels and situations of response that can be designed and set up. The toolkit has been designed to allow practitioners to easily identify and find information that relates to their current context or problem.

  • Section one is an introduction to the publication and to child labour in emergencies. It includes general introductory information; key concepts and legal frameworks; and an overview of experiences and learning on child labour in emergencies, its causes and consequences, as well as risk and vulnerability factors for children in emergencies. Also in this section are tools which help you navigate the guidance.
  • Section two brings together the core elements that are required for a quality emergency response that considers child labour. In this section, seven short chapters provide guidance on coordination; situation analysis (including ‘what we need to know’, methodologies of data collection during situation analysis and analysing information); strategic planning; information management; resource mobilisation; knowledge and capacity; and review and evaluation.
  • Section three outlines the key programme actions to take to prevent and respond to child labour in humanitarian action. It includes separate chapters for preparedness actions; actions for immediate prevention and protection; actions in refugee contexts; actions to mainstream child labour into child protection in emergencies activities; actions to mainstream child labour into education activities and actions to mainstream child labour into economic recovery/livelihoods activities; it also includes as a final chapter for practitioners who are able to initiate specific programmes to address child labour in emergencies.

You can download this toolkit for free here.

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