DOL Awards Nearly $59 Million to Eliminate Child Labor

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently announced nearly $59 million in grants awarded by the Department of Labor in fiscal year 2009 to combat exploitive child labor in 19 countries.

The grants will help rescue more than 85,000 children from exploitive labor, and offer them hope for the future through education and training. The grants will also help improve collection and analysis of child labor data and support for the development and implementation of national action plans to address the problem.

"Protecting children from exploitation and ensuring that their education and healthy development is not compromised is our moral duty," Solis said. "With these new funds, we are furthering our commitment to working with the international community to find effective and lasting solutions to this global challenge."

In Africa, the department awarded $20.4 million in grants to combat exploitive child labor in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zambia. Groups such as the International Labor Organization's International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC), the International Rescue Committee, Winrock International, and the Forum of African Women Educationalists will implement projects to address exploitive child labor in sectors such as cocoa, coffee, tea, and sugar.

The department awarded $15.8 million for projects in Latin America. ILO-IPEC, Catholic Relief Services, Desarrollo y Autogestión, and World Learning will implement projects in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Paraguay. A regional South America project will eliminate forced labor and child labor through improved labor inspections, education, and sharing of best practices, including many developed in Brazil.

In Asia, $15.3 million was awarded for projects in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Implementing organizations include ILO-IPEC, Save the Children, Terre Des Hommes, World Education, and World Vision. These projects will combat child labor, including in the production of bricks and embroidered textiles, mining, domestic service, plantation agriculture, portering, and commercial sexual exploitation.

A final $7.4 million in grants will support policy and research projects. In addition, the department awarded a $500,000 contract to the Center for Reflection, Education, and Action (CREA) to assist the department in identifying and disseminating best practices to eliminate child labor and forced labor in supply chains. CREA will work with a variety of stakeholders to develop a framework for evaluating business practices.

For more information, visit www.dol.gov/ilab.

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