International Youth Foundation to Combat Child Labor in Peru


US$5 Million Department of Labor Award Will Benefit At Risk Urban Youth

BALTIMORE, Oct. 24 — The International Youth Foundation (IYF), a global organization that promotes youth development worldwide, is pleased to announce a US$5,090,000 cooperative agreement with the Department of Labor (DOL) to help eliminate child labor in four areas of Peru.

IYF will partner with three highly-respected and established Peruvian nongovernmental organizations, Centro de Informacion y Educacion para la Prevencion del Abuso de Drogas (CEDRO), Fe y Alegria, and Capital Humano y Social Alternativo (CHS Alternativo), in the "Preparing Ourselves for Life" (Preparandonos Para La Vida) project to address some of the key underlying causes of child labor.

The initiative offers a unique two-pronged approach which aims to improve the availability, quality and relevancy of formal, informal, and vocational education for young people while supporting effective programs that enable vulnerable youth to transition out of work.

Peru has one of the highest rates of child labor in Central and South America, with an estimated 2.3 million children between 6 and 17 working in that country, or 32% of that age group. The "Preparing Ourselves for Life" project will benefit 10,500 children, ages 11 to 15, half of whom will be prevented from entering the labor market before the legal working age, while the remaining half will be withdrawn from hazardous and exploitative jobs such as street vendors, garbage collectors, domestic workers, and prostitutes.

"We are very pleased to be working with the U.S. Department of Labor and three outstanding Peruvian partners to ensure that thousands of Peru’s most vulnerable youth will have improved access to quality basic education," said William Reese, President and CEO of the International Youth Foundation. "IYF is committed to eliminate the exploitation of children at work by providing children and youth with better opportunities
and preparing them for a more hopeful and productive life."

The initiative will support anti-child labor activities in four urban areas — Lima, Callao, Trujillo and Iquitos, and will collaborate with a broad spectrum of stakeholders including children, parents, teachers, community members, and local government agencies. IYF, which operates programs for young people in 70 countries worldwide, has developed
significant expertise over the past five years in the field of quality education and employability training, with such programs now active in 19 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

There is mounting concern in Latin America over the need to address the problem of child labor. In Lima, for example, more than 242,000 children between 6 and 17 are working, or more than one in four in that age group. In certain areas of the city, at least 30% of children between 8 and 17 have a parent engaged in drug trafficking, or are themselves engaged in
drug trafficking.

As a result, there is growing support for programs such as "Preparing Ourselves for Life," which seek to both strengthen prevention efforts and bring those children who are already working back into either a formal or informal educational setting.

About the International Youth Foundation
The International Youth Foundation is a global non-profit organization uniquely dedicated to preparing young people to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. Founded in 1990, IYF’s worldwide network of partner organizations has grown to more than 70 countries, helping young people to shape their futures through proven programs that tie education to work, improve employability, and enable them to play a positive role in their communities. IYF collaborates with businesses, governments and civil society organizations to build effective, sustainable and scalable programs that positively impact the lives of young people worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.iyfnet.org.

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