- The US Department of Labour has announced nearly $59 million in grants awarded in the fiscal year 2009 to combat exploitive child labour in 19 countries.
Announcing the grants, Secretary of Labour Hilda L. Solis, said the grants will help rescue more than 85,000 children from exploitive labour, and offer them hope for the future through education and training. The grants will also help improve collection and analysis of child labour data and support for the development and implementation of national action plans to address the problem.
"Protecting children from exploitation and ensuring that their education and healthy development is not compromised is our moral duty," said the Secretary of Labour. "With these new funds, we are furthering our commitment to working with the international community to find effective and lasting solutions to this global challenge."
In Africa, the department has awarded $20.4 million in grants to combat exploitive child labour in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Groups such as the International Labour Organisation's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC), the International Rescue Committee, Winrock International and the Forum of African Women Educationalists will implement projects to address exploitive child labor in sectors such as cocoa, coffee, tea and sugar.
The department awarded $15.8 million for projects in Latin America, $15.3 million in Asia while the final $7.4 million in grants will support policy and research projects. In addition, the department awarded a $500,000 contract to the Center for Reflection, Education, and Action (CREA) to assist the department in identifying and disseminating best practices to eliminate child labour and forced labour in supply chains. CREA will work with a variety of stakeholders to develop a framework for evaluating business practices.
Since 1995, the US Congress has appropriated approximately $720 million to the Labour Department to support efforts to combat exploitive child labour internationally. As a result of that funding, the department has rescued approximately 1.3 million children from exploitive child labour.
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