Ipê Trabalho Infantil (Ipê Child Labour) System

3 March 2022
Research Innovation

Luiza Carvalho Fachin  | Labour Tax Auditor, Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Brazil
Roberto Padilha Guimarães  | Labour Tax Auditor, Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Brazil

The United Nations declared 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, an important moment for the development of concrete and effective actions to ensure a child-labour-free region. In Brazil, the Labour Inspection Subsecretariat (SIT) since its inception 130 years ago, and especially after the 1988 Constitution, has significantly contributed to the reduction of child labour, and is currently among the most important government organs to manage the problem. SIT thus added its own promise to take concerted action to the virtual platform that the International Labour Organization (ILO), in conjunction with Alliance 8.7, developed for the “International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour”.  The promise of action titled, “Aprimorar e fortalecer a Inspeção do Trabalho Brasileira no Combate ao Trabalho Infantil (in English: “Enhancing and Strengthening the Brazilian Labour Inspection to Combat Child Labour”) is intended, among many things, to drive the development of performance instruments and tools to enhance the efforts of the Labour Inspection in its fight against child labour. Among the projects developed, the “Ipê Trabalho Infantil” System is an online platform whose purpose is the collection, screening and management of child labour reports.

In this article, we will introduce the “Ipê Trabalho Infantil (Ipê Child Labour)” System, highlighting its goals, its functionality, as well as the benefits it is expected to provide to the Brazilian Labour Inspection’s efforts to combat child labour.

1. The System

With technical support from the ILO, the Ipê Trabalho Infantil System was developed by the Labour Inspection Subsecretariat (SIT), which is part of the Secretariat of Labour at the Ministry of Labour and Welfare. 

The System has the following goals:

  1. To serve as a channel for reports involving child labour for the Labour Inspection authorities;
  2. To screen and classify reports;
  3. To manage the influx of reports received by the Labour Inspection authorities; and
  4. to assist in the operational planning of the Labour Inspection’s field actions to combat child labour.

The Ipê Trabalho Infantil System is in its final testing phase and is expected to begin operation in the next few months.

2. Collection and management of reports

The Ipê Trabalho Infantil System is an online platform through which reports pertaining to the incidence of child labour can be submitted. The System leads the user to a standard form to be completed with several questions related to the case being denounced. The purpose of this form is to screen the report based on the inclusion of elements that help in the investigation and management of the information. Once the report is entered, the System makes it possible to control and process the information received, including through the use of geo-referencing and algorithms that allow the screening of the information, which facilitates the planning of operations against child labour.

The flow of the reports begins when a member of the Child and Adolescent Protection Network accesses the Ipê Trabalho Infantil System and registers a report of a child labour situation they either found or heard about. The Labour Inspection Subsecretariat, by means of a specific profile, receives the report, carries out the screening (through predefined indicators in an automated system), and forwards it, through the Ipê System itself, to the relevant regional unit, in accordance with the geographic location of the reported situation. The specific regional unit then receives and investigates the reported case.

Hence, with the new System, it will be possible to increase the efficiency of the Labour Inspection’s operations to combat child labour. The System’s automatic screening process will enable SIT to quickly address the most urgent demands, such as those that include evidence of the worst forms of child labour. In addition, using algorithms that pre-qualify the severity, complexity and amount of information in each report will facilitate and expedite the triaging of the information, requiring less effort and fewer hours spent by the professionals serving at the Labour Inspection.

3. System recipients

Child labour is a complex social phenomenon with multiple causes, which include social, economic and cultural factors. Given this reality, addressing the issue adequately is only possible through the integrated action of the government with civil society, and the joint coordination of all different levels (federal, state and local) and sectors of the government (labour, education, social welfare, health, among others). One of the primary factors to enable and strengthen this integrated action is information sharing between agencies and entities about cases where children and adolescents were found in forbidden labour situations. Information sharing will, in turn, supplement and guide the planning of the operations to combat child labour.

That said, at first, the Ipê System will only be available to members of the Child and Adolescent Protection Network, who can then submit child labour reports. Once launched, the System will be widely promoted among the members of the Network in each regional unit, especially the Social Assistance Offices, the Guardianship Councils and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. As part of the efforts to promote the System, which will include presentations to the states and access to a Guide to provide instructions on how to enter reports, there will also be information detailing the System’s features, emphasizing its importance as a tool to eradicate child labour.

The expectation is that the System will facilitate and expedite the forwarding of child labour reports from the Child and Adolescent Protection Network to the Labour Inspection, as well as the response of the State to investigate such reports. 

Final Considerations

The Ipê Trabalho Infantil System represents a significant progress in the receipt and screening of reports, as well as in the operational planning of the actions of the Brazilian Labour Inspection Subsecretariat. In addition, it significantly contributes to increase the efficiency and to increase inspection operations combat child labour by the Labour Inspection authorities.

This article has been prepared by Luiza Carvalho Fachin and Roberto Padilha Guimarães as a contribution to Delta 8.7. As provided for in the Terms and Conditions of Use of Delta 8.7, the opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of UNU or its partners.

This piece has been prepared as part of the Code 8.7 Symposium: Using Tech-Driven Data to Address Child Labour. Read all the responses below:

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