Kampala. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has announced a $10.8m (about Shs40.5b) fund for Uganda and Malawi to jointly work to combat child labour on the African continent.
The announcement was made during the ILO governing body’s 334th session that is ends today in Geneva, Switzerland.
Uganda is currently serving as a member of the ILO governing body on a three-year term after being voted to it during the 106th International Conference in June 2017.
“The details about the disbursement, sharing and use of money will come later as the team returns from Geneva. Otherwise, that is an allocation that we as a country need to welcome and put to use,” Mr Frank Mugabi, the ministry’s communications officer, said in a statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
The Ugandan delegation in Geneva is led by Gender minister Janat Mukwaya.
The minister is accompanied by the permanent secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, and the director labour, employment and occupation safety, Mr Martin Wandera.
As part of their inaugural participation in the ILO governing body session, Ms Mukwaya in a statement on behalf of the Africa group, asked the International Office to come up with a clear exit strategy from tobacco funding.
Under the Public Private Partnership, the tobacco industry has been funding ILO’s programmes on elimination of child labour in the tobacco industry. However, ILO is transiting from the tobacco funding so as it concurs with the Model Policy for Agencies of the United Nations Systems on Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference.
Consideration of interests
Ms Mukwaya guided that when resolutions are made, there should be “due consideration of the principle of the best interest of the child articulated in the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child,”
She said the exit from tobacco funding should ensure no disruption of the ongoing efforts by member states to eliminate child labour in the sector.
Uganda is one of the countries where tobacco is grown as a cash crop and there has always been outcry of child labour in the sector which leads to school drop-outs in the tobacco growing areas.