WASHINGTON–Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced the award of $40 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2010 to combat exploitive child labor in 12 countries. The grants will offer children access to educational and training alternatives, help improve the livelihoods of their households so their parents can meet basic needs without relying on child labor, and build local capacity to scale-up and sustain efforts to eliminate exploitive child labor.
“Eradication of child labor is a necessary task that binds us all together and has global benefits for everyone,” said Secretary Solis. “These projects will offer children hope through education and help their families provide for themselves and overcome the poverty that leads to child labor.”
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the department awarded $15.5 million in grants to the International Labor Organization’s International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor for projects in West Africa and the countries of Lusophone Africa. These projects include efforts to address exploitive child labor in sectors such as cocoa, quarrying and mining, and a partnership with Brazil to support the sharing of good practices through South-South Cooperation.
In Latin America, the department awarded $10 million for a project in El Salvador that will focus on participatory strategies, economic empowerment, and promotion of social inclusion as a means to address the root causes of child labor. In Asia and the Middle East, the department awarded $2 million for a project to help achieve the goal of a child labor-free Jordan and a $9 million grant in Thailand to address child labor in the shrimp and seafood sector.
In addition, to region-specific projects, the department has awarded $3.5 million for a global project focusing on child labor research and impact evaluation, implemented by ILO-IPEC and Understanding Children’s Work.
Since 1995, Congress has appropriated approximately $780 million to the Labor Department to support efforts to combat exploitive child labor internationally. As a result of that funding, the department has rescued approximately 1.4 million children from exploitive child labor.