A large proportion of Ugandan children are employed as domestic workers in Uganda and Kenya and both child and adult domestic workers face exploitative working conditions. To identify potential interventions to improve their situation, scoping research was carried out from August through October 2022 by ICF International, Makerere University, and Pan African Christian University, with support from the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. This mixed-methods study sought to explore the drivers of child labor in domestic work, working conditions, and aspirations of domestic workers. In this brief, we summarize the methodological approach and present findings and recommendations in three main areas: prevention of child labor in domestic work, protection of domestic workers, and transitioning domestic workers into education or other work. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
While no recent studies provide reliable estimates of the number of Ugandan children involved in domestic work, it is widely agreed that the use of child labor in domestic work in Uganda and Kenya is pervasive. There have been non-representative studies suggesting that children form a substantial proportion of the domestic work labor force. For example, a survey involving 2,270 young domestic workers in 10 regions of Uganda revealed that 44 percent were under the age of 18 years.1 In addition, interview and focus group participants broadly agreed that child labor in domestic work is extremely prevalent.
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