Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Working Conditions in Agriculture in the Dominican Republic
This project will support the Dominican government’s efforts to combat child labor and strengthen labor law enforcement while helping businesses prevent, detect and eliminate labor abuses in the agriculture sector. Building off the commitment of the Ministry of Labor and of a growing number of businesses, the project will help promote supply chains free of exploitative labor and a fair playing field for workers in the U.S. and around the world.
In the Dominican Republic, an estimated 304,000 children are engaged in child labor. Poverty and cycles of indebtedness drive parents to put their children to work. Many of these children face harsh working conditions that rob them of their childhoods. While the government has shown its commitment to tackling this problem by ratifying conventions, implementing initiatives and supporting vocational training programs and labor rights education activities for at-risk youth, gaps in resources and enforcement capacity remain. In addition, though many private companies are increasingly committed to establishing processes to monitor and improve labor law compliance, rooting out child labor from every branch of their supply chains remains a challenge.
The project will leverage ILAB’s long history of engagement with the government of the Dominican Republic to direct attention and resources to significantly reduce child labor and improve labor law compliance in the agriculture sector. In support of the government’s national policies, the project will work with the Ministry of Labor as it seeks to strengthen its labor inspection system and to improve labor law enforcement and working conditions.
The project will also help businesses adopt and implement social compliance systems that can prevent, detect and eliminate labor abuses in their supply chains.
Children in agricultural areas will have better access to education, and vulnerable families will be empowered to seek better livelihoods. A key goal is to ensure that children who have been withdrawn from child labor do not return to work due to economic necessity or lack of educational opportunities.