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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [06/17/2013]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Egan Reich
Phone Number: (202) 693-4679 or x4960
Email:
Della.Gloria.D@dol.gov or Reich.Egan@dol.gov
Release Number: 13-1008-NAT

$2 million in funding available from US Labor Department to reduce child labor in Afghanistan's home-based carpet production

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs today announced a $2 million competitive solicitation to fund one or more projects to reduce child labor in the home-based production of carpets in Afghanistan.

One or more qualifying organizations will receive funding to support Afghanistan's efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor in the production of home-based woven carpets. Each organization selected will partner with at least one company whose source of carpets is from home-based production sites. The project(s) will involve the development and implementation of a sustainable social compliance system for that company's carpet supply chain and establishment of an independent monitoring system to verify its compliance with company standards on child labor.

For children working in home-based weaving workplaces, the project(s) will provide remediation services to support their withdrawal. In addition to social compliance, the project(s) will work to collect reliable data on child labor in the carpet supply chain in Afghanistan and will raise awareness on the dangers of child labor in the carpet industry.

Children working in the carpet sector reportedly start as young as six or seven years old and can work up to 12 hours a day. They suffer from a number of poor working conditions, including exposure to dust from the wool and noxious fumes, resulting in respiratory diseases. Little awareness exists in Afghanistan about the hazards faced by children working in the sector.

Applications must be submitted by Aug. 2, 2013, at 5 p.m. EDT electronically via http://www.grants.gov or as hard copies mailed to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Procurement Services, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room S-4307, Washington, DC 20210, Attention: Brenda White.

All awards will be made by Sept. 30, 2013. The solicitation for grant applications (SCA 13-11) is available online at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/grants/ and http://www.grants.gov.