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US project aims to combat child labour in Yemen

$An American project worth $3.5 million (Dh12.87 million) to combat child labour and child trafficking was launched yesterday in Sana'a in presence of American and Yemeni officials.

  • By Nasser Arrabyee, Correspondent
  • Published: 23:51 December 21, 2008
  • Gulf News

Sana'a An American project worth $3.5 million (Dh12.87 million) to combat child labour and child trafficking was launched yesterday in Sana'a in presence of American and Yemeni officials.

The project aims to help about 4,100 children get out from "the worst forms of child labour and also prevent about 3,000 children from this kind hazardous works", Kunera Moore, American director of the project said.

The 3-year long project will help these children to be schooled in the four Yemeni provinces of Hodieda, Taiz, Hajja, and Aden.

The project will focus on children working in the fishing industry, agriculture, urban jobs, and also those who are trafficked to Saudi Arabia to work or beg, or smuggle goods across the borders.

On September 30, the US Department of Labour, Office of Child Labour, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking awarded CHF International and the Yemeni Local Charitable Society Welfare $3.5 million for the three-year programme, which is called Alternatives to Combat Child Labour through Education and Sustainable Services-Plus (AccessPlus), to combat hazardous child labour in Yemen.

AccessPlus came after a similar programme, Access-Mena, implemented also with American support in the three provinces of Ibb, Hajja, and Abyan during the period from 2004 to 2008.

About 2,818 children were withdrawn from hazardous work and 4,949 children were prevented from entering such work.

The Yemeni Government says poverty is mainly behind child labour and says it needs cooperation of international organisations.

"We've limited resources, and explosion of population, so the hard economic situation is behind child labour, and we do not deny that the government can not deal with this problem without cooperation of the international organisations" said Hesham Sharaf, deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

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