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US awards $4.7 million to strengthen workers' benefits of international trade

afrol News, 10 October - The United States department of labour has today announced its plan to award US$ 4,610,000 to promote workers rights initiatives and more than US$ 115,000 to study employment effects of trade in services.

According to a media report released by department today, worker rights projects will take place in Tanzania, Haiti, Afghanistan and Colombia.

Report shows that goals for Tanzania are to increase knowledge among employers and workers of their rights, obligations and services available to them under national law in selected communities.

Additionally, Tanzania project seeks to improve labour inspection system, and east African nation's ability to collect and analyse labour market information, it says.

It shows that Tanzania's share of fund worth US$1,710,000 will among others be used in capacity building and cooperative agreement, awareness training with increased labour law and organisational compliance.

It other states such as Haiti, project will focus on monitoring and reporting on working conditions in garment sector, and compliance with national laws and international labour standards.

Deputy undersecretary for international affairs, Charlotte (Charlie) Ponticelli said, "goal of these grants and contracts is to create a more stable and secure international economic system in which all workers can achieve greater economic security, share in benefits of increased international trade, and have safer and healthier workplaces where basic rights are respected and protected."

Grants and contracts will support department's work in two key areas of labour and international trade, strengthening worker rights and assessing employment impacts of international trade, report shows.

It further states that department's Bureau of International Affairs (ILAB) will manage grants and contracts.

"Department of Labour will also fund research on international trade in services that will help workers gain a better understanding of how globalisation of service providers affects workers in US service industries. Research will use innovative methods to examine relationship between US trade in services and employment patterns and labour compensation of US service workers," report reads.

It adds that knowledge gained through these studies will contribute greatly to efforts to assess employment impacts of trade, and goal of achieving a well prepared and competitive workforce.

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