One stop support
Multistakeholder committee networks
ARISE works with local experts to come up with the right solutions to protect children in those areas. Local knowledge helps ensure that issues are appropriately resolved.
ARISE works collaboratively with governments and other private sector entities in all countires where we operate. In Uyui District, Tabora Region, there are ten committees that assist child laborers in need. They cover the entire district, and provide assistance with security, legal advice and other forms of support. The committees, which comprise police, lawyers, social workers, religious leaders, community leaders and government authorities, have become highly effective one-stop support networks.
The role of these committees is particularly crucial when the law doesn’t always protect, and when culture and tradition contribute to the child labor cycle. For example, under Tanzanian law, any person over the age of 15 is entitled to work, and girls can be legally married as young as 14-years old. This has resulted in cases of farmers marrying girls so that they can work on their tobacco plantations.
“Our challenges are based on laws that do not protect children,” explains Mr Joseph M Mbwana, Chairman of the District Child Protection Team in Uyui District. “Early marriage has been a big problem in Tabora, that’s why we sometimes fail in our efforts to protect children, because the law is not on our side.”
Even in cases where children attempt to gain employment legally, their youth and inexperience leaves them vulnerable to being taken advantage of. Some farm owners withhold wages owed to young workers, then falsely accuse them of something and fire them without notice. The remote areas in which the farmers operate can also be extremely difficult to reach. It makes getting support to children in need highly challenging. Some villages are as far as 100 kilometers away, limiting our ability to immediately come to the aid of children in need.
When the first committee was established in 2010, a survey revealed that there were up to 2543 children in Uyui District who required support. Following the implementation of ARISE, and the subsequent additional committees that have been established, this number has dropped significantly. In addition, the district recently allocated an impressive and unprecedented budget of Tsh 35 million (approximately USD $15,600) towards child labor elimination activities. The significant investment was allocated following intense advocacy of the implementation of the National Action Plan Against Child Labor.
“We hope that the law might be amended this year. If it is changed, it will really help us in our work.”, Dr Gerson Nyadizi, National Programme Officer of ARISE, ILO.