Child labor is work that children should not be doing because they are too young to work, or, if they are old enough to work because it is dangerous or unsuitable. Child labor is work that has negative effects on children's both physical and mental health.
About 70% of Myanmar's households are rural and rely on agriculture. Data on agricultural workforce, production, income and export remain spotty. The reasons are farmers suffer from ongoing debt cycles and insolvency. Many hold a debt burden larger than their expected annual incomes. Furthermore increasingly landlessness may be pushing workers further away from their villages during certain parts of the year.Beans and pulses is the second largest agricultural export product after rice with Green and Black Gram varietals as the country's two most valuable pulse exports. Green gram has historically been cultivated more in Lower Myanmar's Bago and Ayeyarwady Regions, but recently extended to Upper Myanmar where it has grown in popularity.
According to ILO's Mypec's research findings of Child labour in beans and pulses sector in Pakoku Township, for child workers in the beans and pulses sub-sector uptake of economic activities dramatically increases at age ten. Between ten and thirteen years old, most of the child workers will start with their activities. So, these few years are pivotal for future interventions. Though children's engagement with schooling more steadily declines than in other subsectors, the children start working in cultivation with a dramatic increase at age ten. Once children start working in agriculture they do not necessarily stop their schooling. Children who work with beans and pulses handle tasks across the fairly brief growing cycle such as land preparation and simple harvest. There is limited regular upkeep during the growing cycle. Some children also handle sorting, husking or grinding beans after harvest is complete. There was little processing after harvest apart from drying and packing products, the labour demand is limited and the growing season short.
According to ILO's Mypec's research findings of Child labour in beans and pulses sector in Pakokutownship, All children working in beans and pulses encountered hazards. And also Children regularly encountered very hot weather, lots of dust and fires or burning of agricultural matter and work with pesticides. The planting and harvesting times are during a height in heat when temperatures get above 40C. This can be very dangerous especially for young children who may not notice the signs of dehydration. Children tend to use very basic steel tools, but not machinery. The place of project seeks to address are still in undeveloped in many area such as ways of thinking, education, health, social and livelihood opportunities. According to traditional and culture, some child labour in workplace are received less opportunities and encounter hazards in target area.
Despite of Youth and child are the future of our country, youth are in target community are struggling for helping and solving together with their family of financial difficulties. According to our research in Taunggyi at last year, we found many youths have been working in unsafe and worst form of works. Their time and salary are exploited by business owners in informal sector. They are lacking education, health care, social skill and livelihood opportunity. Because of family income problem and difficulties, they are less good job opportunities and losing hope. They do not receive proper guiding and help to develop their life. Therefore, based on their situation, they really need life skill and awareness of their right.
In 2016, RMO's Child labour elimination project had been implemented for Taunggyi Township and Pyaytownship. There are four main objectives which are prevention, promotion and provision. In this project, RMO worked closely with department of social welfare and Industry and labour law department. The main activities included awareness raising to community business owner and government, vocational training to child labour, Income Generation to child labour family, small research for the situation of child labour in two township. Moreover, RMO had collaborated with DSW and Industry and labour law department to do the best interest for child labour who have been facing some difficulties or problem with their peer or owner. RMO is very expert in working with community and also a member of Technical working group on the worst form of child labour in national level .
In provide awareness raising session and training; for child labour we are using tools of ILO (MyPec project) and for child protection session, RMO use the tools from UNCEF. RMO has implemented child protection activities since 2006 and so in partnership with UNICEF. Furthermore, RMO has developed child protection policy or code of conduct (in Myanmar version). The project staffs especially in child protection sector are fully aware of this policy and they have admitted to have common sense and avoid actions or behaviors that could be construed as child abuse when implementing the project activities. In 2016, RMO had finished the small research study of the situation of child labour in Taunggyi and PyayTownships. Based on our research finding and our previous experiences will help much on the effectively implement of child labor program for our country.