Washington — The U.S. Labor Department has awarded $3 million to the international charity World Education for a project that addresses exploitative labor among youth in Uganda.
The project will train youth to help them develop marketable skills and serve as civic leaders in their communities, the Labor Department said in a December 26 press release.
“With the youngest population in the world, Africa faces the acute challenge of providing its young people with opportunities for decent work,” said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. “This project aims to equip youth with the skills and resources they need to escape poverty and exploitative child labor and become leaders in their communities.”
The project will provide youth with formal education and training in entrepreneurship and agribusiness, the Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs said. It will also encourage them to take on leadership roles within their communities. The project will help families improve their livelihoods through skills training and income-generating opportunities.
The project is intended to serve as a pilot initiative that could be replicated in other African countries, according to the bureau. It will support President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, which is focused on investing in the next generation of African leaders and strengthening partnerships between the United States and Africa.
According to the International Labour Organization, 168 million children around the world toil in child labor. “That’s 11 percent of the world’s children. And 85 million of them work in dangerous conditions,” Deputy Under Secretary Pier said. “Successfully tackling the problem of child labor requires not only political will and capacity, but also the right information and guidance to help steer a course of action.”
The 12th edition of the department’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor can be found at www.dol.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/findings/.