Reducing Child Labor through EducationRATIONALE
An estimated 211 million children around the world work in situations that put their lives at risk, violate international core labor standards, and negatively impact their futures. While factors contributing to child labor vary from country to country and region to region, Winrock International works to provide to families and employers economic and social alternatives that will reduce the rate of child labor and increase educational participation of children.
Reduce and prevent the incidence of children working in harmful conditions, increase educational alternatives and school retention, and document best practices and replicable strategies.
The CIRCLE project is a global initiative found in Africa, Asia, and Latin America - with regional staff located in Winrock offices in Mali, Nepal, Philippines, and Brazil. The project administers subcontracts to fund local programs to reduce child labor through innovative educational initiatives targeted to children, employers, and families. Funded projects are documented in a participatory way to form a resource base of best practices. Winrock implemented a separate two-year pilot project to address child labor primarily relating to cocoa production in Mali and Côte d'Ivoire; the Child Labor Alternatives through Sustainable Systems in Education (CLASSE) project promoted training and educational alternatives for children. CIRCLE activities include public awareness campaigns, community focus groups, and interaction with government officials, worker groups, and faith-based organizations to build support for child labor prevention. Alternative curricula and training for teachers, vocational education with an emphasis on agriculture, and youth mentoring are vital project components.
Since its inception, CIRCLE has funded over 100 projects to 88 community-based organizations in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. CIRCLE has prevented or withdrawn with direct services over 20,000 children from child labor and educated them in formal and non-formal programs and raised awareness of over 40,000 indirect beneficiaries. The CIRCLE sub-projects were implemented in 3 months to 2 years and with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $113,000. The CIRCLE project used a process of peer review to identify best practices among project partners using the following criteria: effectiveness, innovation, educational and/or vocational relevance, sustainability, replicability, and stakeholder involvement. Quantitative and qualitative indicators were provided as a guide for each criterion. A scoring system allocated points to distinguish the most highly recognizable best practices. The information was analyzed comparatively and collectively by Winrock staff, and best practices were extracted on a ranking methodology. These practices were then compiled into the CIRCLE project Best Practices Compendium. In December 2007, CIRCLE hosted three regional Best Practice workshops CIRCLE partners presented and shared best practices from their projects.