How IPEC Works with Non-Governmental Organizations

Whether focusing on children's rights, women's rights, education or health, a wide range of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the world work actively with IPEC.

NGOs are often key players in the IPEC multisectoral approach involving governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and civil society, in the elimination of child labour. Many major IPEC Action Programmes directly involve NGOs or indeed were originated by NGOs themselves.

Here are some excellent examples of how IPEC collaborates with NGOs in its project activities around the world:

Peru: In the Programme to Eliminate Child Labour in the Brick Sector in Huachipa, near Lima, IPEC is working with an NGO called AIDECA, which has experience in the field of development, focusing on social and technological issues and forging strong public-private alliances, to provide a new economic model for families making bricks. AIDECA has developed a plan for a new kind of kiln and production system that combines efficiency with ease of operation, low maintenance costs and low energy consumption. A new community NGO has been established, managed by the beneficiaries, for community governance and management of a "Social Development Brick Factory," a for families whose children are not allowed to work. Fifty per cent of profits are reinvested and the other half goes to social and educational projects AIDECA has established programmes in governance and decision making to raise beneficiaries' capacity to run the brickworks. Other NGOs are also involved in education and monitoring of school attendance. Results are highly encouraging.

Guatemala: In Retalhuleu, about 120 miles from Guatemala City, poor families are involved in crushing rock in quarries on the banks of the Samalá River. The aim of the IPEC-backed project is to:

  • Progressively withdraw children from work by offering improved technology for rock crushing.
  • Provide educational alternatives.
  • Incorporate child labor into the government’s social development agenda.
  • Support activities of other social agents in policy implementation.
  • Create awareness among the population on child labor as exploitation.

The implementing agency is Habitat, an NGO specializing in sustainable development and the environment, supported by IPEC. Children are withdrawn from the quarries and attend school. Families have formed a cooperative and bought their own equipment to crush the rocks, which will significantly improve their economic situation..

India: The M. Venkatarangaiah Foundation began a project in the district in the early 1990s, the goal of which was the total elimination of child and bonded child labor in target villages and areas in the Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India. MVF’s strategy relies on motivating parents, easing problems of enrollment and bridging the gap between the home and formal school. MVF does not view non-formal education as viable either for universalizing education or for eliminating child labor. To date, with IPEC financial assistance, 85 villages have been made child-labour free, while in more than 400 villages all children below the age of 11 are in formal schools. A total of 15,000 working children have been sent to mainstream school. The MVF model is being replicated elsewhere in India.

Global March Against Child Labour: IPEC provides funding to one of the standard-bearers in the fight against child labour: the Global March. The organization is now a leading advocate for ratification and implementation of ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and has demonstrated that children can be significant agents for change.