Who

Government and business leaders who can stop child labor.

What

Sending children to school instead of work, and creating new, safe livelihoods for their families

Where

Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades and Hauts-Bassins regions of Burkina Faso.

How

Raising awareness of impacts of child labor, creating a monitoring system to prevent exploitation, and assisting safe livelihoods.

Challenge

Burkina Faso is the seventh-poorest country in the world, according to the United Nations. An estimated 1.25 million children under 14 – some as young as five – are active workers. Many are forced to work up to 18-hour days, seven days a week. Children working in the cotton industry are exposed to chemicals and pesticides, while those in the gold mining industry must break rocks, carry heavy loads and work with dangerous chemicals such as mercury.

Promise

Our Reducing Child Labor through Education and Services program worked to eliminate child labor in Burkina Faso’s gold mining and cotton industries. We educated families and employers about the dangers of child labor and supported related social services such as child counseling. Our program also delivered alternative livelihood opportunities for families whose very survival had depended upon the income of their children. Lastly, we partnered with the government, private sector and Burkina Faso’s largest cotton union to create a system to monitor and prevent child labor.

Impact

The program helped:

  • Remove 4,000 child workers from the labor force and enroll them in transitional schooling
  • Enroll 6,000 children at risk for child labor in school
  • 1,000 families secure safe, alternative livelihoods

Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Partners

Funder: United States Department of Labor

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