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DOL Seeks Partners to Help Pursue Efforts Against Child Labor

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs is accepting through July 12 applicationsfor a $7 million grant to conduct a global research project designed to expand the knowledge base on child labor. ILAB notes that although many countries have made meaningful efforts to combat child labor, the limited availability of reliable data and research prevents them from designing effective policies and programs to eliminate the worst forms. This project thus aims to increase international knowledge on this topic through data collection and analysis in Armenia, Brazil, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Jamaica, Malawi, Morocco, Peru and Tanzania. It will also carry out country policy appraisals that will include in-depth analysis of survey data, reviews of existing policy and programmatic efforts to combat child labor, and suggested actions to advance the elimination of exploitative child labor in the short and medium terms, including resource requirements associated with key actions.

Separately, ILAB is soliciting through July 12 applications for grants of (a) $5 million to conduct a project working with the government and tea industry of Rwanda to significantly reduce child labor in that country’s production of tea and (b) $10 million to conduct a project to address child labor, labor rights and working conditions in the Dominican Republic’s agricultural sectors, including the sugarcane and production supply chains.

With respect to Rwanda, ILAB notes that children are involved in all phases of the tea production cycle, including tilling the land, sowing, weeding, spraying insecticides and handpicking tea leaves. The project(s) to be approved will support the implementation of a child labor monitoring system as well as efforts to enhance labor law enforcement on smallholder farms and increase children's access to education.

With respect to the Dominican Republic, ILAB states that children work in the production of sugarcane, coffee, rice and tomatoes and that this work exposes them to hazards such as pesticides, excessive sun and sharp tools. The project(s) to be approved will focus on increasing basic education opportunities for children, improving livelihoods for families and agricultural workers, expanding employment programs that help youths transition out of hazardous work, and protecting workers’ rights and children’s rights to education. It will also will build the government’s capacity to enforce labor laws, develop and pilot social compliance systems within agricultural companies, increase public awareness of child labor and other labor rights, share strategies and good practices, and engage in monitoring, data collection and research designed to guide future improvements.

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