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Uganda to benefit from Shs40 billion grant to combat child labour

Gender Minister Janat Mukwaya (R) and Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana at the ILO meeting in Geneva on Thursday, November 1. (PML Daily PHOTO)

GENEVA, Switzerland – Uganda is set to benefit from $10.8 million grant from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to combat child labour in Africa.

The revelation was made on Thursday at the ongoing 334th session of the Governing Body of ILO in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms Janat Mukwaya, the Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development, is currently attending the session that started on 25th October and ends on 8th November 2018. Other members of the delegation include Mr Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and Mr Martin Wandera, the Director of Labour, Employment and Occupational Safety and Health.

Child labour continues despite new anti-exploitation laws. A new law introduced in 2016 which criminalizes child labour has failed to stop exploitation due to inadequate implementation. More than 2 million children in Uganda are estimated to be affected.

Uganda was voted to the ILO Governing Body for a three-year term during the 106th International Conference held in Geneva in June 2017.

Child labour remains one of Africa’s challenges that need immediate attention. Uganda is set to benefit from Shs.40bn dispatched to combat the vice (FILE PHOTO)

The Governing Body is the executive organ of the International Labour Organisation and already a wide range of issues have been discussed at the ongoing session including the programme and budget proposals for the biennium 2020-21; establishment of voluntary peer-review mechanisms of national employment policies and the high-level evaluations of strategies and Decent Work Country Programmes.

The Governing Body is also expected to guide the International Labour Office on how to transition from Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) with the tobacco industry in line with the Model Policy for Agencies of the United Nations System on Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference.

Under the PPP’s the tobacco industry has been funding ILO’s programmes on the elimination of child labour in the tobacco industry.

In a statement made on behalf of the African Group, Ms Mukwaya guided that the transition from tobacco funding should take 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 accordingly advised the International Labour Office to come up with a clear exit strategy from tobacco funding which among others ensures no disruption of the ongoing efforts to eliminate child labour in the tobacco sector.

In a related development, Mr Pius Bigirimana has been designated Chairperson of Policy Development Section of the 334th Session of the Governing Body.

The policy development section deals with all agenda items related to employment creation, social protection and development cooperation.

To this end, Mr. Pius Bigirimana, on Thursday, chaired a sitting on an enhanced programme of development cooperation for the occupied Arab territories.

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