19 November 2013
The department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs announced the award of two cooperative agreements with ILO in a November 18 news release. The agreements will address the worst forms of child labor by giving direct technical assistance to governments in 20 countries and providing support for updating statistics related to child labor in another 100 countries.
The department awarded $7.7 million for a cooperative agreement to build the capacity of governments to reduce child labor in at least 10 countries, including Bangladesh, Paraguay, Philippines, Suriname and Uganda. The project will support efforts to bring national legislation on child labor issues into compliance with international standards, improve monitoring and enforcement of child labor laws and policies, and improve national plans of action on child labor.
The project will also enhance implementation of policies and programs to increase access to basic education, vocational training, social protection services and poverty-reduction initiatives for populations vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. It will collaborate with key government agencies at the national, regional and local levels.
The department awarded $7 million for a second cooperative agreement to collect and analyze data on working children in 10 countries, including Armenia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Jamaica, Malawi, Morocco, Peru, Tanzania and an additional country to be identified. The project will conduct surveys to collect data on child labor at the national or sector level, develop policy appraisals, publish data files for public use, and build the capacity of national statistical offices to conduct research and analyze data on child labor. It will also update statistics on children’s work and education for approximately 100 countries.
Since 1995, projects funded by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs have rescued approximately 1.7 million children from exploitive child labor. The Labor Department has funded 269 such projects, implemented by more than 65 organizations in 91 countries. The bureau currently oversees more than $220 million of active programming to combat the worst forms of child labor.