US Department of Labor awards nearly $20 million to combat exploitive child labor in Bolivia, Egypt and Jordan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced nearly $20 million in grants awarded to combat exploitive child labor in Bolivia, Egypt and Jordan.

The grants will fund projects that provide children with education and training opportunities, and help improve the livelihoods of families so they no longer need to rely on children’s labor. These projects will work with countries that have shown strong political will to address abusive child labor and tackle its root causes. They will collaborate with national partners to scale up and sustain these efforts, and will conduct rigorous evaluations of the impact of project interventions.

“Eradicating child labor is a necessary task that binds us all together and has global benefits for everyone,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Our experience shows it is important to forge partnerships with countries to ensure that children are educated and not exploited.”

In Bolivia, the department awarded a $6 million grant to Desarrollo y Autogestion for a project that will work closely with indigenous leaders, urban and rural communities, and the government of Bolivia. The project will raise awareness of health and occupational hazards inflicted by the worst forms of child labor. The grant also will combat forced labor, and support Bolivia’s new education law by helping to provide children with basic and accelerated education. In addition, it will develop technical secondary school programs, offering economic empowerment to communities and support to small enterprises that raise household incomes.

The department awarded $9.5 million to the World Food Program to address child labor in Egypt’s agriculture sector.… Read the rest

The US Blinks, and Children Will Suffer

[Blog, originally from the Huffington Post]

Jo Becker
Children’s Rights Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
Posted: November 9, 2010 10:07 AM

Until recently, the United States might have been considered a world leader in combating the use of child soldiers. But after events last month, children victimized in war may need to look elsewhere for help.
The United States has spent millions of dollars supporting the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in countries like Afghanistan, Colombia, and Sierra Leone. It enacted groundbreaking legislation enabling the United States to prosecute child soldier recruiters entering the United States, and to withhold US military assistance from governments that use child soldiers. In 2002, it joined an important international treaty that prohibits the use of children under 18 as combatants. It even changed its military deployment practices to set a good example. These actions put it on the forefront of international efforts to end one of the most heinous aspects of modern warfare.
But last month President Obama issued an order allowing US military assistance to governments that use child soldiers, undermining a law he voted for as a Senator just two years ago. Also last month, the US became the first Western nation since World War II to convict a former child soldier of war crimes.

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Harvard Crimson Editorial Board: Reject Those Who Exploit Children (op-ed)

[A recent editorial regarding the Obama Administration’s military aid policies]
Reject those who exploit children
By: Harvard Editorial Board
Posted: 11/11/10
Despite its early remonstrance of perceived human-rights violations such as Guantanamo Bay, the Obama administration took a step backward last week by issuing a waiver that will allow the continuation of military aid to four countries that openly employ child soldiers.

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The US Blinks, and Children Will Suffer (Blog by Jo Becker from Human Rights Watch)

Check out this blog from Jo Becker, the Children’s Rights Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch, on U.S. policy regarding child soldiers, here in The Huffington Post. Human Rights Watch is a member of the Child Labor Coalition.… Read the rest