Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Working Conditions in Agriculture in the Dominican Republic (FORMITRA)

Project Duration
December 2017
December 2023
Funding and Year

This project supported the Dominican government’s efforts to combat child labor and strengthen labor law enforcement. Building off the commitment of the Ministry of Labor, the project helped promote supply chains free of exploitative labor and a fair playing field for workers in the U.S. and around the world.

The Problem

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.

Our Strategy

The project leveraged 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 worked with the Ministry of Labor to strengthen its labor inspection system and to improve labor law enforcement and working conditions. In addition, the project piloted job search and training skills-building activities for families to withdraw and prevent vulnerable children from child labor. The project also has expanded its support of local civil society and community-based organizations in the border provinces, training leaders on child labor awareness.


  • The project developed and transitioned to the Ministry of Labor a robust electronic case management system for inspections, which is a key tool to transparently manage and report on labor inspections in the Dominican Republic.
  • The project has trained over 340 government officials and local leaders on characteristics of child labor, child labor in different economic sectors, worst forms of child labor, and how to teach their communities to recognize and respond to child labor.
  • FORMITRA, working closely with the Ministry of Labor, updated the labor inspection manual and trained all labor inspectors on the updates. 
    As a result of the project training all labor inspectors and other ministry officers on the updated inspection system and techniques, inspectors are reporting that inspections are more efficient and total inspections have increased