News Release

US Department of Labor announces $12M cooperative agreement to strengthen labor rights, empower workers in Brazil, Colombia, Peru

Announcement comes as Deputy Undersecretary Lee visits Colombia

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a $12 million cooperative agreement to the American Center for International Labor Solidarity to strengthen democratic, independent workers’ organizations in Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

The announcement came as the department’s Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee visited Colombia to learn about its government’s labor and employment priorities and discuss progress made related to labor issues and commitments under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

Administered by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the project will bolster unions and advocate for the full and free exercise of collective bargaining rights and freedom of association in South America. The project will focus on underserved communities and seek to advance gender and racial equity.

Specifically, the cooperative agreement supports the following project activities that will:

  • Improve respect for the rights of Brazil’s workers, particularly Afro-Brazilian, migrant, women and LGBTQI+ workers in the digital platform economy and the manufacturing sector.
  • Increase the capacity of Colombia’s workers, particularly women, migrants and indigenous people, and worker organizations to organize and advocate for workers’ rights. It will also help these organizations expand their networks and engagement with stakeholders in the cut-flower and mining sectors.
  • Improve access to mechanisms for labor rights compliance in Peru’s mining and agriculture sectors, particularly for indigenous and migrant workers.

The cooperative agreement is part of the department’s Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment and Rights, an initiative to strengthen workplace democracy globally by supporting worker rights and empowerment through program and policy interventions.

Founded in 1997 by the AFL-CIO, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity supports hundreds of independent and democratic unions around the world. Allied with the AFL-CIO, the center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization and assists workers in fighting discrimination, exploitation and the systems that entrench poverty to achieve shared prosperity in the global economy.

Learn more about the department’s work in the Americas.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
November 29, 2022
Release Number
Media Contact: Christine Feroli
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