UN Supports Asia’s Efforts to End Child Labour through Better Data Collection

Attempts to eradicate child labour in Asia and the Pacific received a boost last week, following the completion of a training course on child labour data collection for government statisticians from the region.

The five-day course – the Asia Regional Training Course on Child Labour Data Collection through Baseline Surveys and Rapid Assessments – was organized by the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), a training arm of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Statistical Monitoring and Information System on Child Labour (SIMPOC) and the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), both of the International Labour Organization.

The course, which ran from 22-26 September in Chiba, Japan, where SIAP is located, was organized with the support of the Government of Japan through its Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the cooperating agency to SIAP.

The objective of the training course was to introduce baseline surveys and rapid assessments as well as their application in collection of statistics on child labour, in order to better meet governments’ needs for reliable statistics for their efforts to combat child labour. Baseline surveys are conducted periodically to generate data against a base period, allowing governments to trace changes over time.
In many developing Asian countries, eradication of child labour is an important challenge, and the need to collect child labour data has gained urgency. In that context, baseline surveys and rapid assessments have been seen to be practicable and effective data collection vehicles for child labour in specific sectors or geographical areas.

Fifteen government statistics officials took part in the training course. They hailed from: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

In addition, the training course had a secondary aim of providing technical guidance on the design and implementation of these data collection methods by sharing practical experiences among the participants and performing group work. Data processing and data management issues were also addressed.

ABOUT SIAP: SIAP is the ESCAP training arm in statistics. Its mission is to train government officials from developing countries in order to build up the capabilities of national statistical systems to provide high quality data and services that conform to international standards. It was established in 1970 and has to date provided training for more than 11,000 government statisticians from more than 120 countries all over the world."