All over the world, millions of children are working in households other than their own, carrying out tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, gardening, collecting water and firewood, looking after other children, tending animals and caring for the elderly. For many so-called child domestic workers, their seclusion and dependency makes them particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse – not only because they are children, but because the majority are girls, and most go unrecognised as workers. The situation of child domestic workers is also inextricably linked to the position of adult domestic workers, whose employment is consistently undervalued and poorly regulated, and who are largely overworked, underpaid and unprotected.
Anti-Slavery International has been concerned with the situation of children in domestic work for over 90 years, and has had a programme dedicated to ending their exploitation and abuse since the early 1990s. Alongside partner organisations in Costa Rica, India, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania and Togo, Anti-Slavery International has, in this project, sought to build grass roots civil society capacity to influence the policy and practice of duty bearers, empowering child domestic workers themselves to play a central role in tackling their situation and defining solutions to their individual and collective circumstances. The purpose of this report is to learn from these efforts, in particular from the realisation of a small grant scheme (SGS).
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