Over 13 years, the ECLT Foundation has removed more than 10,300 children from child labour and financially supported 4,900 parents in rural communities where tobacco is grown in Kyrgyzstan. On 28 November 2017, the Foundation officially closed its final project in the country after a 2-year sustainability phase, aiming to prepare farmers and communities to transition away from tobacco growing as large-scale sourcing has ended there.
Since January 2005, ECLT, together with its partner, the Alliance for the Protection of Children’s Rights (APCR), has implemented five projects in the Nookat and Alabuka Districts of southwestern Kyrgyzstan to address child labour in tobacco-growing communities. The projects focused on withdrawing children from working in the fields, expanding their access to vocational training, supporting families with microloans and helping them form or join existing cooperatives so parents can hire more adult labour or agricultural machinery and reduce their need for child labour.
To mark its 13 years of efforts to end child labour, a formal Closure Ceremony was organised in Bishkek on 28 November 2017 with project partners and stakeholders, including representatives from the national and local government, trade unions and beneficiaries. The event included the presentation of the independent study results, which assessed ECLT’s approach and impact between 2005 and 2017. The study revealed a reduction in child labour in tobacco growing, an improvement in farmers’ purchasing power thanks to microcredits and a better understanding of children’s rights and the dangers of child labour among children and their communities. During the ceremony, the ECLT Foundation officially handed over the ownership of the microloan fund, worth a total of USD 540’000, to the APCR.
Read the ECLT Kyrgyzstan Policy Brief to learn more about the situations faced by rural communities where tobacco is grown in Kyrgyzstan.
For more information:
Phone: +41 (0) 22 306 14 44