Policy Review of Child Labour in the Arab States Region - ILO


The development and implementation of child labour policies in the Arab states region continue to be hampered by major regional instability and active conflict, as well as insufficient resourcing and implementation of national laws to combat child labour and expand social protection to reduce levels of household poverty and economic vulnerability.

Worsening regional economic conditions, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, have undoubtedly pushed more households into negative coping strategies, including sending children into the workforce. In this context, the ILO commissioned Triangle to conduct this regional policy review of child labour in the Arab states to provide a qualitative resource to accompany the ILO’s 2021 Statistical Brief on Child Labour in the Arab States, as well as to contribute to the formation of the agenda for the V Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour and Forced Labour.

Triangle’s Assignment

Triangle used key informant interviews with child labour focal points, ministerial representatives, independent academic experts, extensive desk research, and existing quantitative data to review the status of, and challenges to child labour policy development and implementation across 12 Arab states and territories.

Due to the diverse economic, social, and political contexts of the Arab States region, researchers structured lines of inquiry and analysis of the key regional challenges through a framework which delineates regional states based on their conflict status. The resulting report – which was published in 2022 – was validated during a presentation to over 60 representatives from the ILO, governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, in preparation the V Global Conference on Child Labour held in South Africa in 2022.

Triangle undertook the following key tasks:

  • Regional Instability and Economic Conditions: Analysis of how regional conflicts and deteriorating economic conditions due to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic impact child labor rates and enforcement of labor laws.
  • National Law Enforcement and Social Protection: Review of each country’s effectiveness in enforcing child labor laws and providing social protection to mitigate household poverty and economic vulnerabilities.
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Integration: Utilization of both qualitative interviews and existing quantitative data to form a comprehensive overview of child labor dynamics across the region.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engagement with child labor focal points, ministerial representatives, and independent academic experts to gather diverse perspectives and insights.
  • Framework Development for Analysis: Development of an analytical framework that categorizes countries based on their conflict status, providing tailored insights into regional challenges.
  • Preparation for Global Conference: The report’s role in shaping the agenda for the V Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour and Forced Labour, including validation of findings with ILO and other stakeholders.

Policy Review of Child Labour in the Arab States Region – ILO


November 2021 – December 2021

Arab States Region
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