The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $18.65 million in grants to combat human trafficking around the world, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao announced.
The amount includes $3.75 million to implement anti-trafficking projects in Brazil, Cambodia, Moldova and Sierra Leone, and $14.9 million to fight child-labor trafficking in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.
The grants will fund projects that provide employment services to adults who have been trafficked into forced labor and to women at risk of being trafficked. Projects also will support communities by improving schools and providing education, shelter and counseling to children who have been trafficked or who are at risk, and income-generating opportunities for their parents, the release said.
Grant funds will be used to work with national and local governments to improve law enforcement, map trafficking routes and implement public awareness campaigns, according to the release.
The grant recipients are Catholic Relief Services, Winrock International and The Hagar Project.
The projects to prevent human trafficking are being funded as part of President Bush's international Combating Trafficking in Persons initiative. In Brazil, Catholic Relief Services will provide employment services and income-generating activities for adults, mostly agricultural workers, who have been trafficked into forced labor. In addition, it will work with the national and local governments to improve law enforcement, map trafficking routes, and implement public awareness campaigns and adult education programs. Catholic Relief Services will also work in Moldova to enhance legitimate employment opportunities and related services.
In Cambodia, the department will work with The Hagar Project to develop alternative livelihoods as well as an employment program targeted at former trafficking victims and at-risk women.
In Sierra Leone, Winrock International will support community and faith-based organizations in combating child trafficking by improving schools and providing shelter, counseling, education and skills training.
An additional $14.9 million to combat trafficking of children will support projects in the Dominican Republic, South America, Indonesia and in the sub-region of West and Central Africa. These efforts will provide direct assistance to children who either have been trafficked or who are at risk of being trafficked. Among the services to be provided are education and training opportunities for children and income generating opportunities for their parents as a means of reducing the risk that children will be trafficked. These projects will also seek to build local capacity in the targeted countries for confronting the problem of trafficking, one of the worst forms of child labor as identified by ILO Convention 182.
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