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Eliminating Child Labour: The Promise of Conditional Cash Transfers Hamid Tabatabai ILO/IPEC 20 November 2007 PowerPoint Presentation
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Eliminating Child Labour: The Promise of Conditional Cash Transfers Hamid Tabatabai ILO/IPEC 20 November 2007

Eliminating Child Labour: The Promise of Conditional Cash Transfers Hamid Tabatabai ILO/IPEC 20 November 2007

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Eliminating Child Labour: The Promise of Conditional Cash Transfers Hamid Tabatabai ILO/IPEC 20 November 2007

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  1. International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour IPEC Eliminating Child Labour: The Promise of Conditional Cash Transfers Hamid Tabatabai ILO/IPEC 20 November 2007

  2. Outline of the Presentation • Background • Relevance of the conditional cash transfer approach for child labour • Issues in mainstreaming CL concerns into CCTs • Concluding remarks • CL: Child labour • CCT: Conditional cash transfer • CCTs: Conditional cash transfer programmes

  3. Background • Millennium Development Goals …. and child labour • Second Global Report on Child Labour / Global Action Plan • No worst forms of child labour by 2016 (2015) • Time-bound measures to put in place by 2008 • What measures? • Direct interventions (to remove, rehabilitate and reintegrate child labourers) have their place but cannot be the main option: • Too small to make enough difference to the larger CL picture • Often too costly, because coming too late (prevention is better than cure) • Scaling up impact requires mainstreaming CL concerns into relevant policies and programmes (examples: poverty reduction strategies, education policies, agricultural policies, … and social protection policies such as CCTs)

  4. Relevance of the CCT Approach for CL (1) Main strengths: • Addresses some major causes of CL • Chronic poverty • Economic shocks • Child labour market conditions (counter demand for CL by raising its opportunity cost through cash incentives, schooling conditionality) • Cultural factors (empower women, favour girl’s education) • Promotes schooling as alternative to child labour • Seems effective in reaching its objectives • Is proliferating beyond Latin America and the Caribbean

  5. Relevance of the CCT Approach for CL (2) But …. • Few CCTs address CL explicitly • Exceptions: Brazil’s PETI; Ghana’s LEAP • May not be effective against some forms of CL (especially “unconditional” worst forms: slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child soldiers, etc.) • From CL perspective, acid test is effectiveness in Africa and Asia (where CL is high, but public services and resources are more limited)

  6. Mainstreaming CL concerns into CCTs • Targeting • Conditionality • Complementary programmes • Transfer amount • Monitoring and evaluation • Institutional arrangements • …

  7. Targeting • Relatively straightforward if reducing CL is the main CCT objective (Brazil’s PETI): Go where CL is, using CL indicators or proxies • More complex when CL is only one of several objectives • Typical CCT targeting criteria go some way already to capture CL (because of their association with it) • For more accurate targeting of CL, include it in eligibility criteria (issues of data availability, weighting, composite indices, etc.) • Mixed targeting methods seem best (geographic, means tests, community) and CL can be used at various stages

  8. CL Conditionality? • Eligibility criteria versus Conditionalities • YES: • Emphasises CL elimination as explicit CCT objective • Promotes respect for law (CL is illegal) • Reinforces schooling conditionality (by freeing children from work) • … • NO: • Enforcement is difficult and costly • Might lead to greater effort to conceal CL activities (perverse effect) • May not be necessary (examples from Ecuador and Ghana TBP) • … • Way out? • Yes, but avoiding harsh enforcement (Ghana’s LEAP)

  9. CL-Related Complementary Programmes Cash and conditionality are not always enough to stop CL. May also need: • Transition education • After-school activities to keep children occupied and improve various skills (Brazil’s PETI) • Skills / vocational training for older children (youth employment) • Counselling, especially in cases of worst forms of CL • Awareness raising / social mobilization

  10. Transfer Amount • Transfer has two functions: • Create economic incentives to meet conditionalities • Provide resources to enable meeting conditionalities • Cost item for meeting CL conditionality: CL income foregone, which is a function of: • Age • Sex • Number of actual / potential children working • Labour market conditions • Seasonality • … • How should this be reflected in transfer amount?

  11. Monitoring and Evaluation • Impact evaluation as one of the more remarkable aspects of CCT experience (hundreds, and that’s only in English!) • CL impact assessment is relatively rare and rather tentative, naturally • Issues related to monitoring and evaluation of CL • Operational definition of CL • Type and frequency of CL data collection • Difficulties of collecting data on some types of CL • Analytical capacity constraints • … • IPEC experience with child labour monitoring systems, less with CL impact evaluation

  12. Institutional Arrangements • Consultative processes • Involving National Steering Committee on CL in CCT programme development and implementation • Involving employers’ and workers’ organizations • Including CL dimensions in: • Awareness raising activities • Advocacy • Training

  13. Concluding Remarks “Child labour anywhere constitutes a danger to CCTs everywhere!”* • CL is a problem of development, intimately linked to poverty, education, youth employment, etc. • It is a reason for the perpetuation of poverty from one generation to the next • CCTs can not only help reduce CL, their own success depends in part on the elimination of CL • All the more reason to join hands! * “Poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere.” ILO Constitution

  14. Muchas Gracias