News Release

US Department of Labor will award up to $20M to support workers’ rights, fight labor abuses in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

Initiatives align with Biden-Harris administration’s Root Causes of Migration Strategy

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced its intent to award up to $20 million in grant funding to elevate workers’ rights and improve working conditions in the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Administered by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, these funding opportunities will finance projects to promote respect for labor rights and labor rights compliance in the region that are aligned with the Biden-Harris administration’s Root Causes of Migration Strategy.

The $20 million in available funding includes up to $7 million to address child labor, forced labor and other unacceptable conditions of work among El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras’ vulnerable populations, including indigenous communities and people of African descent. The department published a funding opportunity announcement yesterday that will fund this project to improve the ability of communities to come together and collaborate with governments, the private sector and others to address unacceptable work conditions. 

In the coming weeks, the department will announce an additional $13 million in funding opportunities aimed at improving occupational safety and health conditions, access to social protection services and respect for workers’ rights in Central America.

The administration’s Root Causes strategy recognizes that decent work and the promotion of labor rights fosters inclusive economic growth. Through ILAB, the department will use its mandate to address issues related to labor rights compliance in the region and engage labor, worker organizations, women’s empowerment organizations and other organizations in the U.S., El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to inform future programming.

The region’s challenges include weak labor law enforcement, limited union organization, high levels of informality, historically marginalized populations excluded from workforce and educational opportunities and a population more vulnerable to the risks of labor exploitation, child labor, the coronavirus and natural disasters.

ILAB seeks to strengthen global labor standards, enforce trading partners’ labor commitments, promote racial and gender equity, and combat child labor abuses, forced labor and human trafficking.

Learn more about the funding opportunity.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
July 30, 2021
Release Number
Media Contact: Arjun Singh
Phone Number
Media Contact: Christine Feroli
Share This