US Department of Labor Awards $4.7M Grant to Enhance Compliance with International Labor Standards in Ecuador’s Banana, Cut Flower Sectors

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of up to $4.7 million to Partners of the Americas, a private nonprofit that promotes decent work and acceptable work conditions in Latin America, to enhance compliance with international labor standards by Ecuador’s banana and cut flowers industries. 

Administered by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the project seeks to reduce child labor and forced labor and promote labor rights in the industries’ supply chains. The initiative will evaluate the prevalence of child labor, build awareness and strengthen the capacity to mitigate other labor rights abuses, including forced labor. It will also focus on addressing workplace safety and health concerns.

The project’s area-based approach will bolster local ownership and enhance the capacities of local private sector, community and government stakeholders. Providing assistance for individuals most vulnerable to labor rights violations, including women, children, migrants and indigenous and Afro-descendant populations will be one of the project’s priorities. The effort will also empower workers’ organizations, producer associations, community and indigenous groups, and local entities to address labor violations, including through increased access to remediation for affected workers.

Inspired by President John F. Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners of the Americas became a private sector organization in 1970. Today, the alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.