Verité is currently implementing a four-year project to improve government commitments and performance on reducing hazardous child labor and forced child labor in eight countries. Verité is a partner on this multi-country initiative—known as Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor, or CLEAR II—with Winrock International, a global NGO working to empower the disadvantaged and increase economic opportunity. Verité’s role will be to assess the capacity of each government’s labor inspectorate, and to seek out and address the unique circumstances under which child labor persists. In addition to training labor inspectors, Verité will develop tools and materials to assist stakeholders in identifying and addressing child labor in each of their countries. This project builds on Verité’s long history of training hundreds of labor monitors, who have inspected thousands of workplaces from garment factories in India to coffee fincas in Guatemala. As part of CLEAR II, Verité will also work to engage with the private sector in project countries.
Lisa Cox will lead Verité’s work on this project; an attorney, Ms. Cox recently returned to the Washington, D.C. area after living in Southeast Asia for several years, where she worked extensively on issues related to labor inspectorates, child rights, gender equality, trafficking, migration and refugee rights with diverse organizations such as the ILO, UN Women, ECPAT-International, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and Asylum Access Thailand. Previously, she was a trial attorney with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and also worked on projects to promote respect for human rights in Rwanda, Mauritania and Senegal.
CLEAR II activities will work toward building the capacity of governments and institutions, both at local and national levels, to fight child labor. According to Vicki Walker, senior program officer at Winrock, “The project design allows us to provide targeted assistance to each country based on that country’s specific needs. In one country, project activities may only focus on the development and implementation of a national action plan on child labor, whereas in another country activities may range from conducting an assessment of the legal framework to mainstreaming child labor into an existing national social program.”
Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Labor under Cooperative Agreement number IL-26260-14K. According to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, “CLEAR II, among other goals, will provide direct assistance to governments that want to improve their capacity to reduce child labor.”