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The effects of a behaviour change campaign on employers of child domestic workers in Ethiopia

October 10, 2023 / Our Reports The Freedom Fund / @freedom_fund

Child domestic work is a common, socially accepted form of child labour in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by which many young girls enter the urban work force following migration from an urban area. Although domestic work is not an inherently harmful or dangerous form of child labour, child domestic workers (CDWs) in Ethiopia frequently face mistreatment and abuse from their employers and may struggle to access education if they cannot fit their school hours or homework around their work responsibilities.

The Freedom Fund piloted a norms and behaviour change campaign in Addis Ababa in 2022, aimed at the employers of CDWs, using a combination of media approaches to spark discussion and social change around two themes: reducing CDW working hours and increasing their access to education. It included a series of dramatized television shorts, physical media such as posters, and social media stories. The campaign was delivered by Girl Effect Ethiopia and funded by the United States Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

When compared to responses at the baseline, respondents were more likely to disagree that CDWs are perceived differently from other children in the endline, a possible sign that the campaign reduced the ‘othering’ of CDWs which has been identified in previous Freedom Fund research. The results also revealed an increased sense of responsibility among employers regarding the education of their CDWs. Those employers who had some exposure to the campaign were also more likely to see public holidays and weekly rest days as valid reasons for giving CDWs time off. However, school enrolment did not increase by the time the study of the campaign completed, and total working hours for CDWs decreased by only one hour per week, on average.

The full report includes evidence-based recommendations for future norms and behaviour change campaigns relating to CDW treatment, including continued use of TV and social media as the most important venues for messaging to the target audience in Addis Ababa.

Click here for the full report

Click here for the report brief

Photo credit: All images in this report are from eight TV spots released between June and July 2022 as a part of Freedom Fund’s Norms and Behaviour Change Campaign ‘Chora’. The ads were developed by the Freedom Fund and Girl Effect, and photography by Urban Production. All those pictured are actors.