June 12, 2015

World Day Against Child Labor : Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa



In Kazakhstan, a child labor prevention program has been set up thanks to a partnership between Philip Morris International and the Public Union Women’s Education and Consultancy Services Center, Karylgash.  Established in 2010, the program have seven key components:

  • Daycare centers for pre-school infants for a duration of three months (during the tobacco harvest season);
  • Summer camps for children aged 6-13 years from tobacco-growing areas throughout August (the peak harvest period);
  • Sports activities at local village schools and the equipping of local gyms;
  • Vocational training programs for adolescents aged 14-17 years;
  • Functional support for the local community centre and equipment so as to provide interesting courses for children throughout the year; and
  • Roll-out of the public ‘road to school’ campaign to ensure children from underprivileged families have the chance to get an education.

Since 2008, Philip Morris International has been partnering with regional NGO, Total Land Care  (TLC), In Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania to develop sustainable solutions to address poverty and tackle child labor in tobacco-growing communities.  Providing children with access to education is a critical step toward achieving these objectives. 

Through the partnership with TLC, PMI is providing improved infrastructure for local schools (in Malawi alone this has results in the construction of 66 school blocs providing education for more than 25,000 students) and consequently, helping to improve the literacy and quality of education provided in these three African countries, generating higher levels of enrollment and retention rates in primary level education. 

More recently, PMI attended the national conference in Tanzania entitled, “Pathways to Sustainability: Together We Can Eradicate Child Labour in Agriculture” . The conference was hosted by the Government of Tanzania, Ministry of Labor (MoLE), and organized in collaboration with the Eliminating Child Labor in Tobacco (ECLT) Foundation . The International Labor Organization (ILO) was also involved and provided technical support.  As a result of the conference, the Permanent Secretary of the MoLE, mandated by the Tanzanian Prime Minister, approved the Conference’s Outcomes and a Recommended Actions Document which further clarifies the roles of the different stakeholders involved in tackling child labor in the country and, most importantly, formalizes the government’s commitment to strengthen the capacity of the National Inter-Sectorial Coordination Committee (NISCC), which will:

  • Review, prioritize and ensure the implementation of the conference’s recommendations;
  • Coordinate the revision of the National Action Plan for the elimination of Child Labor (NAP); and
  • Ensure effective participation of all relevant stakeholders (government, employers’ groups, worker unions, civil society groups, and the private sector) across different industries.