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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [05/13/2013]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Egan Reich
Phone Number: (202) 693-4679 or x4960
Email:
Della.Gloria.D@dol.gov or Reich.Egan@dol.gov
Release Number: 13-0739-NAT

US Labor Department to award one or more cooperative agreements to reduce child labor in Rwanda’s tea sector

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs will award up to $5 million under a competitive grant solicitation for one or more cooperative agreements to address child labor and exploitative working conditions in Rwanda's tea sector. The project will have an area-based approach that targets children, families and workers who are susceptible to child labor.

More than 142,000 children between the ages of five and 14 work in Rwanda. Of these children, more than 85 percent work in agriculture. Within the tea sector, child labor is most prevalent on smallholder farms. Children are involved in all phases of the tea production cycle, including tilling the land, sowing, weeding, spraying insecticides and handpicking tea leaves. Tea is Rwanda's second largest cash crop; in 2010, it accounted for 23 percent of the country's export earnings, the latest data available.

Funding will be awarded for projects to work with the government of Rwanda and that country's tea industry to significantly reduce child labor in Rwanda's production of tea. The project(s) will support the implementation of a child labor monitoring system, as well as efforts to enhance labor law enforcement on smallholder farms and to increase children's access to education. In addition to the Rwandan government, the project(s) will involve a range of stakeholders including private sector entities, non-governmental organizations and farmers.

Applications must be submitted by July 12, 2013, at 5 p.m. EDT electronically via http://www.grants.gov or hard copy to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Procurement Services, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room S-4307, Washington, DC 20210, Attention: Brenda White and Helen Williams.

All cooperative agreement awards will be made by Sept. 30. The solicitation for grant applications (SCA 13- 04) is available online at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/grants/ and http://www.grants.gov.

ILAB grants help rescue children from exploitative labor through the provision of education and other services, support the collection of reliable data on child labor, and help strengthen the capacity of governments to address child labor in a sustainable way. Congress appropriated funds for ILAB to conduct international technical cooperation projects to combat the worst forms of child labor as defined by the International Labor Organization Convention 182, which can be found at http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO:12100:P12100_ILO_CODE:C182.