Ending Child Labor in Cambodia

Hundreds of millions of children worldwide go to work most days rather than attend school to get an education.  Of these, some are exposed to the worst forms of child labor, including hazardous work, slavery and becoming child soldiers.  In Cambodia, child labor is often a common phenomenon. 

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs works with other governments and civil society actors around the world to eradicate child labor, forced labor and human trafficking.  Since 1995, ILAB has funded more than 250 projects and worked with more than 60 organizations to combat child labor in more than 90 countries.  These projects have provided direct services to children and their families and helped build national and local capacity to address child labor. 

This week, ILAB issued a solicitation for grant applications for a $10 million project to support efforts to reduce child labor in Cambodia.  Eligible applicants should address ways to combat child labor by:

  • Increasing children's access to quality education and vocational/skills training;
  • Promoting sustainable livelihoods for affected households;
  • Increasing beneficiaries' access to national social protection programs that help households overcome dependence on child labor to meet basic needs;
  • And increasing access to decent jobs for young people of legal working age.

Applications must be submitted by October 2 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, D.C. 20210, Attention: Brenda White and James Kinslow.

Potential applicants can get answers about this and other grant solicitations during the August 16 webcast at www.dol.gov/ilab.

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I'm very happy the DOL is getting involved with helping the children of Cambodia. I believe the exploitation of any child is wrong. It made my day reading this.

It is sad how many children are being exploited by working in hazardous conditions, enslaved, or become child soldiers instead of going to school and get a better education. Personally, I know some kids in the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya who rise up early just to be the first one to eat breakfast at the dumpster. I hope The Bureau of International Labor Affairs will help them become self sufficient and live a fruitful life.

This is fine thing for us to get involved with; this exploitation and degradation of human life is business as usual over there. It should be pointed out that many of our outsourcing policies and tax incentives have encouraged this type of behavior and taken jobs from our country.

Across the country of Cambodia children of the very poorest families are engaged in hazardous activities that place them in constant danger. Over 313,000 children are trapped in the worst forms of exploitation such as drug trafficking and prostitution. Others spend hours in salt fields, work in factories or load carts with bricks to meet the demands of the booming construction industry. An ILO supported survey in 2003 reported one in every ten children in the capital above the age of seven was engaged in child domestic labor.

I believe the best way to assist a community is by increasing the per capita income by advancing a community's skillset. Outsourcing, software development in particular has definitely added value to the South East Asian economies and might as well for Combodia as well.

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