Background

The Department of Labor announced July 30 an award of up to $20 million for projects to improve workers’ rights and working conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This funding includes up to $7 million to address child labor, forced labor, and other unacceptable conditions of work among vulnerable populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, including indigenous communities and people of African descent.

The DOL also said that in the coming weeks it will announce an additional $13 million in funding opportunities aimed at improving occupational safety and health conditions, access to social protection services, and respect for workers’ rights in Central America.

According to the DOL, Central America’s challenges include weak labor law enforcement, limited union organization, high levels of informality, historically marginalized populations excluded from workforce and educational opportunities, and a population more vulnerable to the risks of labor exploitation, child labor, COVID-19, and natural disasters.

For more information on forced labor and how to avoid it in your supply chain, please contact Elise Shibles or Nicole Bivens Collinson.

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