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Promoting Labor Rights in Peru and the Philippines

Filipino workers turn bamboo poles used in pigs at a roasting pit in suburban Quezon city, Philippines on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014.

Workers in Peru and the Philippines will have enhanced protection through a partnership with the United States.

Workers in Peru and the Philippines will have enhanced protection through a partnership with the United States. The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) on December 22 announced two grants to help strengthen the government’s enforcement of existing labor laws in Peru and the Philippines through technical assistance projects to build capacity at the labor inspectorates in those countries.

In Peru, the United States awarded $2 million to Capital Humano y Social Alternativo, a non-profit organization that will help build the labor law enforcement capacity of the Peruvian Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion's (MTPE) newly-formed National Superintendency of Labor Inspection. The project will focus on improving the MTPE's enforcement of laws, regulations, and other legal instruments governing subcontracting, outsourcing, and the use of short-term employment contracts, especially in the country's nontraditional export sectors – such as mining, agriculture, fishing, and textiles.

In the Philippines, a grant of $1 million is intended to help improve the effectiveness of labor inspections, particularly in the area of occupational safety and health, and labor rights monitoring by workers, employers, and their representatives.

The Philippines has taken a number of steps to increase staff and enhance technology in the labor inspectorate. To assist in these efforts, the grant awarded to the International Labor Organization (ILO) will help improve labor law compliance and labor rights monitoring.

Since 1995, ILAB has worked with other governments and international organizations to identify assistance that countries may require to improve the labor conditions of their workers. ILAB currently provides $76 million in technical assistance to improve worker rights, livelihoods, and labor law compliance in more than 72 countries around the world.

"Labor inspections as a means of enforcing existing labor laws are essential to raising standards for workers around the world," said Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Carol Pier. "These projects will build on existing efforts within Peru and the Philippines to help those countries better enforce their labor laws and protect workers' rights."