To reduce the prevalence of child labour in the agriculture sector, an intervention programme called Kemitraan Strategis untuk Menanggulangi Pekerja Anak di Pertanian di Indonesia (KESEMPATAN) has been initiated for five districts in East Java Province and West Nusa Tenggara Province. This baseline study provides information on the pre-intervention conditions in Probolinggo District and Lombok Tengah District. The collected data will be used to evaluate the programme’s effectiveness in the endline phase. This study adopts a mixed-method approach, namely quantitative through a household survey of 500 tobacco households in 16 villages, as well as qualitative through in-depth interviews with the programme implementers as well as the village officials and community. Conducted after the tobacco season ended, this study compares the child labour prevalence one week before the survey and six months before the survey. The prevalence of child labour among households in tobacco-growing areas is relatively low in the tobacco off-season but peaked in the post-harvesting phase. The prevalence is also higher in Lombok Tengah (70.4%) than Probolinggo (10.7%), possibly due to different production capacities and child labourers’ motivation to work. The child labourers also reported of working in situations and activities considered hazardous for children. Lack of awareness of the child labour issue is reflected by children and adults’ permissive attitude. A considerable proportion of them find it acceptable for children under 15 years old to work, and more than half approve of children’s involvement in tobacco leaf-processing. Based on the findings, we recommend that the programme implementers optimize the partnership with the private sector during the treatment-village selection; assure that village officials and local cadres understand the programme’s objectives to avoid mistargeting; hear from the children and adults’ perspectives regarding the community activity centres; and involve all stakeholders in running the programme.
Keywords: child labour, tobacco growing, Probolinggo, Lombok Tengah