4.4 WORKPLACE AND COMMUNITY MONITORING
Systematic efforts to ensure that workplaces and communities remain child labour free mean first of all that awareness-raising activities should not be limited to the children and parents, but extended to all groups involved: employers, managers, and adult workers in workplaces, community leaders, service providers and enforcement agencies (see also Chapter 9). In a second stage, monitoring mechanisms need to be set up to ensure that the children withdrawn from work remain and complete school, and that new children do not enter work. This can be done in the schools or educational centres, in the workplaces and in the children's communities.
In any workplace monitoring programme, the active participation of the concerned employers, manufacturers, contractors and subcontractors is critical, as the commitment to free all manufacturing and production processes from child labour may call for a change in established and traditional manufacturing and production practices. The involvement of the concerned workers' representatives, and local community groups, as well as the concerned governmental agencies, is also critical (see also Chapters 6 and 7).
The involvement of children in the production and manufacture of goods for export has become a matter for international concern. Faced with outside pressure, some producers and manufacturers have turned to the ILO for advice on action to eliminate child labour from their particular industry. This has resulted in three instances in concrete prevention and monitoring programmes in the garment industry in Bangladesh, the football industry in Pakistan and its international counterparts, and the carpet industry, also in Pakistan. The result has been partnerships that span geographical and cultural boundaries, as well as positive changes in the attitudes and practices of the communities, in that the families have been willing to withdraw their children from work and send them to school.
The basic elements of the ILO-IPEC prevention and monitoring programmes are:
Social protection programmes provide viable and practical alternatives to the children and their families affected by the prevention and monitoring programme. These programmes support the withdrawal of the children from workplaces and prevent them from working by sensitizing and mobilizing the communities. They also provide services to rehabilitate the children withdrawn so that they can be integrated into mainstream educational systems and other developmental activities. The basic elements of a social protection programme are:
There is potential in local community watch systems to sustain action against child labour and to ensure that workplaces remain free from child labour. The establishment of local child welfare and vigilance committees is an effective tool which is increasingly being utilized in many countries. These committees can monitor, undertake action and even provide limited resources and services where necessary. Experience shows that programmes which stress a participatory approach and actively involve the children, their parents, community leaders and teachers are the most successful. Decentralization of authority to local governments and community structures also has a positive impact and results in effective community participation.
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