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RICHES Background

The Reducing Incidence of Child Labor and Harmful Conditions of Work in Economic Strengthening Initiatives (RICHES) program addresses the risk of child labor and unacceptable working conditions in women’s economic empowerment (WEE) initiatives. Through support from the U.S. Department of Labor, and as a subaward to the Grameen Foundation, ABA ROLI has co-developed and piloted a set of tools for WEE actors (e.g., microfinance institutions, CSOs, and other financial service providers) to integrate awareness of these risks into WEE initiatives. 

During the pilot phase of the program, ABA ROLI’s team of technical experts produced a Pre-Situational Analysis (PSA) on the intersection of child labor, working conditions, and WEE in two pilot countries, El Salvador and the Philippines. Following this initial phase, ABA ROLI supported the development of a RICHES Toolkit, which promotes a multi-step approach to integrating safe business practices and the protection of children into the work of WEE actors. Phases include promoting a management-level understanding of organization and program-level risks that contribute to harmful work for children and adults; building up frontline staff to be able to address these risks; and engaging participants to develop awareness and grow the organization’s responsiveness to participant needs.

After incorporating feedback, ABA ROLI and the Grameen Foundation implemented training workshops with WEE actors in the Philippines and El Salvador to familiarize them with the Toolkit's components. These workshops provided WEE actor clients and staff, as well as other stakeholders with awareness of the risks of child labor and resources to integrate child protection into their organization’s work and policies.