HOME
TheInfoList



The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) is an operating unit of the
United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, unemployment benefits, reemployment services, and some economic ...
which manages the department's international responsibilities. According to its mission statement: ''“The Bureau of International Labor Affairs leads the U.S. Department of Labor's efforts to ensure that workers around the world are treated fairly and are able to share in the benefits of the global economy. ILAB's mission is to improve global working conditions, raise living standards, protect workers' ability to exercise their rights, and address the workplace exploitation of children and other vulnerable populations. Our efforts help to ensure a fair playing field for American workers and contribute to stronger export markets for goods made in the United States.”'' ILAB promotes the economic security and stability of United States workers in international affairs and provides advice and statistics on policy decisions which have U.S. labor concerns. The Bureau also represents the United States at trade negotiations and at international bodies like the
International Labour Organization The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the firs ...
(ILO), the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade between nations. It officially commenced operations on 1 January 1995, pursuant to the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, thus rep ...
(WTO), and the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member c ...
(OECD). It also provides technical assistance to foreign countries in the interest of benefiting the United States and additionally works with other government agencies to combat
child labor Child labour ( British English) or child labor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the Un ...
and
human trafficking Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery Sexual slavery and sexual exploitation is attaching the right of ownership over one or more people with the intent of coercing or otherwise forci ...
abroad and in the United States. United States. Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).''Bureau of International Labor Affairs: A Brief Outline of Principal Activities''. Washington, DC: Department of Labor, 1994. The Bureau of International Labor Affairs is located in the Frances Perkins Building, Room S-2235, 200
Constitution Avenue Constitution Avenue is a major east–west street in the Northwest, Washington, D.C., northwest and Northeast, Washington, D.C., northeast quadrants of the city of Washington, D.C., in the United States. It was originally known as B Street, and it ...

Constitution Avenue
, NW
Washington, DC ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, United States Capitol, Washington Metro, National Air and Space Museum, A ...
20210. It is currently under the direction of Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Martha Newton.


History

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs was formed October 10, 1947, during the administration of
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
under the direction of Lewis B. Schwellenbach as a means to formally institutionalize the international directives of the Department of Labor. Since its creation, ILAB has helped pass the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, aided the introduction of the
United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...
into the
International Labour Organization The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the firs ...
(ILO), and administered the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), the portion of the
North American Free Trade Agreement The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA; es, Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; french: Accord de libre-échange nord-américain, ALÉNA) was an agreement signed by Canada Canada is a country in the norther ...
(NAFTA) which dealt with trade relations and required the establishment of a department in each member state to provide information about labor conditions in that country.


Child labor, human trafficking and forced labor

In 1993, the
United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Wa ...
directed the Secretary of Labor,
Robert Reich Robert Bernard Reich (; born June 24, 1946) is an American economist An economist is a practitioner in the social sciences, social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from ...

Robert Reich
at the time, to identify foreign industries and countries which export goods to the United States which were produced using child labor. Responsibility for this project was given to ILAB which published the first of its reports on the subject: The Sweat and Toil of Children: The Use of Child Labor in American Imports. In 1999, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13126 which prohibited the purchase of items which were produced by forced or indentured labor. It also authorized the Department of Labor to compile a list of items and their respective countries which would be banned. This fell under the purview of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs.United States. Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)
"Executive Order 13126"
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, 2013. Accessed 25 June 2013
The current list, as compiled by ILAB, consists of 31 products including bamboo, beans, cocoa, coffee, nuts, rice, rubber, shrimp, and sugarcane. The products come from countries such as Afghanistan, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burma, China, Colombia, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Thailand and Uzbekistan. As of 2004, ILAB has spent more than $250 million to combat child labor since 1995. On April 10, 2009, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs announced a letter of intent to "Fund International Child Labor Elimination Projects in Fiscal Year 2009" this involves the awarding of merit-based "cooperative agreement awards" to organizations seeking to fund projects to combat child labor through education. It is intended that $20 million be budgeted for this purpose. These efforts will be focused in the countries of Guatemala, Indonesia, Nepal, and Rwanda.


International technical cooperation

ILAB provides technical assistance with other countries in the areas of technical expertise, worker health, and working conditions with the goal of benefiting U.S. foreign policy. This program began in the aftermath of World War II when the Department of Labor taught Germany, German trade unionists to assist in European reconstruction efforts. In 1975, ILAB worked with the Government of Saudi Arabia to develop a vocational training program and in 1989, after the passage of the Support_for_East_European_Democracy_(SEED)_Act_of_1989, Support for Eastern European Democracy Act (SEED), ILAB aided economies that were transitioning to a more open economic system to develop labor markets.United States. Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)
"International Cooperation Program"
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, 2013, Accessed 25 June 2013.
Additionally, ILAB has undertaken various social initiatives globally including a $10 million project to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in workers. These initiatives are all aimed at providing stability to an interconnected global economy in which labor issues in foreign countries can have negative effects in the United States.


Offices

*Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs (ODUS) *Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT) **Research and Policy Division **Monitoring and Evaluation Division **Asia/Europe/MENA Division **Latin America and the Caribbean Division **Africa Division *Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA) **Trade Policy and Negotiations Division (TPN) **Monitoring and Enforcement of Trade Agreements Division (META) **Technical Assistance and Cooperation Division (TAC) *Office of International Relations (OIR) **Multilateral and Global Issues Division *Office of Economic and Labor Research (OELR)


Related legislation

*Executive Order 13126 *Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (“Farm Bill”) *Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)


See also

*
United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, unemployment benefits, reemployment services, and some economic ...
*United States Department of State *Harkin-Engel Protocol *Child Labor *Children in cocoa production


References

*United States. Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).''Bureau of International Labor Affairs: A Brief Outline of Principal Activities''. Washington, DC: Department of Labor, 1994.


External links


United States Department of Labor Official Website

Bureau of International Labor Affairs Official Website

Selected Bureau of International Labor Affairs Publications and Documents


*[https://2001-2009.state.gov/g/tip/ US Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Website (G/TIP)] {{authority control United States Department of Labor agencies 1947 establishments in the United States