Survey Commissioned by the IRC Reveals Widespread Child Labor in Uganda
According to the survey, 15 percent of children in north and northeast Uganda are involved in some form of harsh, dangerous labor. Another 26 percent of children were found to be “at risk” of becoming child laborers. Nationwide, according to the Ugandan government’s own figures, some 1.76 million Ugandan children ages 5 to 17 are involved in some kind of work.
“Every day, tens of thousands of children in Uganda are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, from breaking stones in quarries and collecting heavy firewood to burning charcoal and prostitution,” said Dorothy Jobolingo, an IRC child labor expert based in Uganda.
In conjunction with the annual World Day Against Child Labor today, the IRC is urging the Ugandan government and the international community to take strong action to prevent and fight the spread of child labor.
The IRC is working to end child labor through its LEAP project — Livelihoods, Education, and Protection to End Child Labor. LEAP has helped over 11,000 Ugandan children escape work and stay in school by paying school fees and providing educational materials and by helping parents find jobs and new careers. (Read the stories of Peter, 7, and Cecilia, 17)
LEAP has benefited an additional 14,225 students through efforts to renovate schools, train teachers, and help community groups better oversee the functioning of schools. The project also advocates for the enforcement of laws against employing child laborers.
“As we observe the World Day Against Child Labor,” said Jobolingo, “I take great pride in knowing that the IRC is helping restore hope for thousands of children and giving them new opportunities.”Learn More