Grameen Foundation to Launch Workplace Protection Project for Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiatives

Washington D.C., April 5, 2018—Grameen Foundation is proud to announce a new project, funded by the United States Department of Labor, to integrate the issues of child labor alleviation and safe working conditions into women’s economic empowerment initiatives.

The RICHES project (Reducing Incidence of Child Labor and Harmful Conditions of Work in Economic Strengthening Initiatives) will create tools to enable the women’s economic empowerment community to recognize and avoid child labor and harmful labor practices. RICHES will research, develop and deploy a toolkit for policy makers, microfinance institutions and other service providers to educate women entrepreneurs on national and international child labor laws and how to safeguard their workers’ health.

Few within the women’s economic empowerment community would expect that investments in women’s enterprises could increase the risk or incidence of child labor or negatively impact working conditions. Yet, as women entrepreneurs struggle to manage the additional labor burden of bigger businesses alongside household tasks and unpaid care work, an unintended consequence can be an over-reliance on child workers or the creation of unsafe working conditions.

Grameen Foundation will partner with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative to develop the toolkit. The toolkit will be pilot tested in El Salvador and the Philippines, two countries with a high prevalence of child labor and very active women’s organizations conducting economic empowerment outreach, and then will be expanded globally. At least 20 organizations in these two countries will be invited to shape, adopt and refine the tools through pilots run by Grameen Foundation and partners and broad engagement with the women’s economic empowerment community.

Funding for the RICHES project is provided by the United States Department of Labor under cooperative agreement number IL‐31469. The grant of $1.5 million goes through May 2021.

About Grameen Foundation

Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit that empowers the poor, especially women, to end poverty and hunger. It creates breakthrough solutions—spanning financial, agricultural and health services—that leverage digital technology and local partner networks to bring people the tools and opportunities they need to help themselves.

About Bureau of International Labor Affairs

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (United States Department of Labor) promotes a fair global playing field for workers in the United States and around the world by enforcing trade commitments, strengthening labor standards, and combating international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.

About ABA Rule of Law Initiative

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is an international development program that promotes the rule of law by working with in-country partners to build sustainable institutions and societies that deliver justice, foster economic opportunity and ensure respect for human dignity. The ABA established the program in 2007 to consolidate its five overseas rule of law programs, including the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), which it created in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, ABA ROLI implements legal reform programs in roughly 60 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.

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