US Department of Labor awards $4.5M in grants to reduce child labor in Madagascar’s mica-producing communities
WASHINGTON, DC – A boy toils long hours lugging mica from deep underground mines to the surface above and then sorts and processes the mineral. With no protection from razor sharp tools, the child’s work exposes him fully to the mica and sand dust kicked up in the mining and sorting processes. At the end of the supply chain, the mined and processed mica finds its way into the manufacture of many consumer products such as automobiles, cosmetics and electronics.
To help reduce child labor in Madagascar, one of the leading suppliers of mica where an estimated 10,000 children work in the mines, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a $4.5 million cooperative agreement to the United Nations Development Programme.
The award will support implementation of a project to bolster the resiliency of vulnerable families in mica-producing communities, build the capacity of government officials to address child labor in the mica supply chain and increase engagement of non-governmental stakeholders to combat the practice. The project aims to provide direct educational services to 3,380 children and livelihood services to 1,575 families.
The grant is made available through the department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, whose mission is to promote a fair global playing field for workers in the U.S. and around the world by enforcing trade commitments, strengthening labor standards and combating international child labor, forced labor and human trafficking.