WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today announced the 13th edition of the "Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor" report, prepared annually by the Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs. The report assesses efforts by more than 140 countries to reduce the worst forms of child labor and reports whether countries have made significant, moderate, minimal or no advancement from year to year. It also suggests actions they can take to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement, coordination, policies and social programs. A new grant to combat child labor internationally was also announced. The event is being webcast live at https://conx.state.gov/dc-fpc/.
"This report shines a light on the estimated 168 million children around the world who toil in the shadows — crawling underground in mine shafts, sewing in textile factories or serving in households as domestic workers," said Secretary Perez. "We are seeing more countries take action to address the issue, but the world can and must do more to accelerate these efforts. When children are learning rather than working, families flourish, economies grow and nations prosper."
"This report is not just a one-of-a-kind assessment of countries' efforts to address child labor. It is also a roadmap for change," added Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. "It is my hope that the information in this report, its assessments and its recommendations will spur individual and collective action to help vulnerable children around the world find a better future."
The "Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor" report is mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000. This year's report introduces a new streamlined format for country profiles to make it more user-friendly and a better policy tool for engagement. Thirteen countries received an assessment of significant advancement, compared with 10 countries in last year's report. It is available at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/findings/.
Secretary Perez also announced that the department will be awarding $7 million to Winrock International to implement a global project to support countries, including Burkina Faso and Nepal, who want to improve their capacity to combat child labor.
Since 1993, ILAB has produced reports to raise awareness globally about child labor and forced labor. ILAB has also provided funding for more than 275 projects in over 90 countries to combat the worst forms of child labor by providing assistance to vulnerable children and their families.
In addition to providing international technical assistance in support of U.S. foreign and labor policy objectives, the agency leads the department's efforts to ensure that workers around the world are treated fairly and are able to share in the benefits of the global economy. ILAB's global mission is to improve working conditions, raise living standards, protect workers' ability to exercise their rights and address the workplace exploitation of children and other vulnerable populations.
More information about the report and grant is available at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/. Printed versions of the report are available from the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room S-5317, Washington, DC 20210. Members of the public also may contact the office by telephone at 202-693-4843, fax at 202-693-4830 or email at email@example.com.