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CLARISSA: Action-research to tackle the drivers of child labour in Asia

Tdh, through the consortium CLARISSA – Child Labour Action-Research-Innovation in South and South East Asia – generates innovative solutions for children to avoid exploitation in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal.

The child-centred action-research project CLARISSA analyses key drivers of the worst forms of child labour and develops innovative solutions to prevent them.

Worldwide, 152 million children are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in dangerous conditions. Our aim is to co-develop, with children and families, context-appropriate solutions for children to avoid engagement in hazardous exploitative forms of labour.


Action-research based on children’s experiences

In the CLARISSA project, Tdh and partners collect 1200 stories of children affected by child labour from BangladeshMyanmar and Nepal to analyse the situation in Asia. Children actively take part in the action-research: they are supported to collect lived experiences from peers by themselves and they will analyse the evidence. They will try to figure out why a specific situation of hazardous child labour exists – for example if a 12-year old without parents works in the leather industry and is exposed to chemicals, the reasons could be the absence of parents, of education, or of laws. In a next step, children, their parents and members of their communities will propose activities and innovative solutions to tackle the worst forms of child labour, test them and then evaluate them.

This approach combines evidence gathering and learning from action. The key research themes are innovation in social protection, positive family dynamics and social norms, revealing and reducing harm in supply chains, as well as child participation.

Children advocate for their rights

Children will be part of child clubs that link with government bodies, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), companies and global forums where they can speak up, inform on the experiences of children in hazardous labour situations and propose solutions.

Cash assistance for children in exploitative work

In Bangladesh, Tdh supports 1500 families living in slums with children in situations of hazardous child labour, such as in the leather industry. They get cash assistance, are followed up by social workers and get the possibility to do vocational training. We also sensitise their communities on the worst forms of child labour and how to prevent it.

The aim of the project is to reduce the number of children working in exploitative conditions and to achieve this with the participation of the affected children.


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The CLARISSA consortium members are the Institute of Development Studies, Terre des hommes, ChildHope and the Consortium of Street Children


Photo credits: © Tdh / Jean-Marie Jolidon, Gonzalo Bell

Related publications

CLARISSA: Emerging Evidence Report
Children’s Engagement With Exploitative Work In Dhaka, Bangladesh
Modern Slavery Prevention And Responses In Myanmar: An Evidence Map
Social Norms, Labour Intermediaries, And Trajectories Of Minors In Kathmandu’s Adult Entertainment Industry

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