Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Bureau of International Labor Affairs

ILAB Press Release: United States Provides Record $21.6 MIllion in Grants to Fight International Child Labor; Leads World in Fighting Abusive Practices[12/22/1999]

For more information call: (202) 693-4650

The United States contributed $21.6 million this year to the fight to end abusive child labor practices around the world, the U.S. Department of labor announced today. The grants came from a record $30 million appropriation, up from the previous year's meager $3 million.

"Millions of children are working in intolerable situations and we made a decision to take the lead in the campaign to end the most abusive practices," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman, whose department manages the grants program, said. "Today there is a global movement to eradicate this evil and we can predict that the most abusive forms of child labor will be eradicated world-wide."

Additional grant requests being processed will bring the total to the full $30 million for the 1999 fiscal year. "Our grants go to projects that will take children out of abusive work environments and get them an education," Secretary Herman said. "But we also have to look at alternative sources of income for their families. Most of the money working children make goes to feed their families. Poverty is at the heart of these abuses."

The 1999 grants funded projects in 18 countries or regions, including countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Another $30 million will be contributed to new projects in 2000.

The Labor Department grants fund projects of the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor, which is part of the International Labor Organization, an agency of the United Nations. The department helps design specific projects and monitors administration and progress of the operations.

The grants fund three types of projects: targeted programs which address abusive child labor in a specific industry in a country or region; statistical programs which produce the data necessary to define the extent of abusive child labor in a country or region and to measure progress of projects to eliminate the problem; and projects to support a country's efforts to join the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor.

To become a member of IPEC, a country must establish a steering committee made up of representatives of government, labor and business; a plan of action to eliminate child labor; and a memorandum of understanding with IPEC.

From fiscal year 1995 through fiscal year 1998, the United States committed about $8 million to the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor. The 1999 and 2000 appropriations had wide bipartisan support in Congress.

A list of the FY1999 grants is attached.

USDOL-Funded IPEC Projects FY 1999 (December 22, 1999)

Removing and Preventing Children from engaging in Hazardous Work


Trafficking of Children for Labor Exploitation in West and Central Africa


Footwear in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand Fishing in Indonesia and the Philippines Trafficking for Labor Exploitation in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka (to be funded soon) Soccer Balls in Pakistan (2nd Phase) (to be funded soon)

Latin America and Caribbean:

Child Domestics in Haiti Fireworks in Guatemala Coffee in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Dominican Republic Small mines in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (to be funded soon) Fireworks in El Salvador (to be funded soon) Garbage Dumps in Nicaragua (to be funded soon)Commercial Agriculture in Central America and Dominican Republic (to be funded soon)

Increasing Participation in IPEC


National Program in Ghana National Program in Nigeria National Program in Uganda National Program in Zambia


National Program in Mongolia

Latin America and Caribbean:

National Program in Haiti

Europe and Middle East:

National Program in Romania

Measuring the Extent and Nature of Child Labor


Child Labor Survey in Ghana Child Labor Survey in Nigeria Child Labor Survey in Uganda Child Labor Survey in Zambia

Latin America and Caribbean:

Child Labor Survey in Brazil Child Labor Survey in Belize Child Labor Survey in Costa Rica Child Labor Survey in Dominican Republic Child Labor Survey in El Salvador Child Labor Survey in Guatemala Child Labor Survey in Honduras Child Labor Survey in Nicaragua Child Labor Survey in Panama

Europe and Middle East:

Child Labor Survey in Romania

Awareness Raising

Asia-Pacific Seminar on Core Labor Standards Global Public Awareness and Education Campaign (to be funded soon)

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
December 22, 1999
Media Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number