WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the awards of $14 million in cooperative agreements to support a broad set of actions by two projects intended to combat child labor, forced labor and human trafficking, which affects more than 200 million children, women and men worldwide.

The awards come at a pivotal time as the pandemic threatens to jeopardize progress made in reducing child labor and forced labor, potentially leading to an increase of nearly 9 million children by the end of 2022. By some worldwide estimates, there are 160 million children subjected to child labor currently, and nearly 80 million of them work in conditions that endanger their health, safety and moral development. An additional 40 million people fall victim to modern slavery, forced labor and human trafficking, among which women and girls disproportionately account for 71 percent of victims.

Administered by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, both projects support international programming to combat some of the most abusive labor practices found globally.

The first award to the International Labor Organization provides $10 million to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal’s target through the Global Accelerator Lab 8.7 project. It seeks to support the goals of eradicating child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and modern slavery worldwide by 2030 through broader and more effective action under Alliance 8.7, a global partnership to end these abuses. The ILO will work with trade unions, civil society organizations, governments and regional institutions, and provide targeted assistance to Alliance 8.7 pathfinder countries.

The second award of $4 million will support the Global March Against Child Labor’s Catalyst project to work in Uganda, Peru and Nepal to address child labor abuses. The project builds on the organization’s efforts at the national, regional and local levels to strengthen civil society action and elevate workers’ voices to fight child labor globally.

The ILO is the UNs’ only tripartite agency and brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member states to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men.

The Global March Against Child Labor is a worldwide network of trade unions, teachers’ associations and civil society organizations working together to eliminate and prevent child labor, slavery and trafficking, and ensure access by all children to free, meaningful and good quality public education.

Learn more about the department’s international work.

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