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Human rights | Labour

US awards $58 million to eliminate exploitive child labour around world

afrol News, 2 October - A number of sub-Saharan Africa countries will benefit from a huge grant awarded this week by US Department of Labour aimed at fighting exploitative child labour.

US Secretary of Labour Elaine L. Chao yesterday announced that department has awarded more than $58 million in fiscal year 2008 grants to combat hazardous and exploitive child labour in countries around the world. Grants will save children from and prevent them from entering exploitive labour by providing education and other services. Some of the funding also will be used to collect reliable data and strengthen capacity of governments to address child labour problem.

"This $58 million worth of projects strives to free children around the world from exploitive child labour and help them access a new life of hope and opportunity," said Secretary Chao.

Approximately $21.75 million in grant funding will go for six projects in 13 countries. These include projects to combat exploitive child labour in Guinea, Jordan, Madagascar, Nicaragua and Yemen, as well as support for research on forced labour in Liberia and other countries around the world such as Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Grants awards will be channeled through international, nonprofit, for-profit and faith-based organisations.

In addition, department will also award $36.3 million to International Labour Organisation's International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) for projects in seven countries in Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda and support for several multi-region projects.

"We need to continue to send the message that investing in education for children is not just the right thing to do, it's the best investment a country can make in its economic future," said Charlotte M. (Charlie) Ponticelli, Labour Department's deputy undersecretary for international labour affairs.

Since 1995, US Congress has appropriated approximately $660 million to department of labour to support efforts to combat exploitive child labor internationally, with results succeeding in rescuing more than one million children from exploitive child labour around the world.

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