Chief of Party for Partners' Juntos Aprendemos program, Gustavo Payán-Luna, reflects on his recent trip to Cúcuta, Colombia. The city is the Colombian epicenter of the Venezuelan migration crisis, an issue that is at the core of Juntos Aprendemos' work to increase youth access to quality education in areas impacted by migration.
Child Protection Unit
COVID-19 has inflicted a series of burdens and setbacks upon the fight against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at a global level, especially in countries where the efforts and resources destined to combat this evil have been reappropriated to efforts focused on medical and economic recovery. However, information about TIP in Paraguay, particularly related to tourism, has been abundant, in part thanks to the efforts of Partners of the Americas and its stakeholders.
On June 12, 2021, Partners of the Americas (Partners) commemorated the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL), as well as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. This is a year in which we are called to not lower our guard on our fight, but instead, to increase our efforts to prevent and eradicate child labor, especially given the increased threat that the COVID-19 pandemic poses on vulnerable families and communities.
On March 26, 2021, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Inter-American Foundation (IF) held an event to discuss the numerous ways COVID-19 has disproportionately hurt Afro-descendant communities in Latin America.
Every day, Partners of the Americas collaborates with individuals and organizations around the world to eradicate poverty. The coronavirus pandemic this year has hurt communities experiencing poverty the hardest, yet we are finding ways to work through it to achieve social and environmental justice for all. This International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we’re highlighting the steps our programs, projects, and members have taken to end poverty during COVID-19.
Colombia is known for producing some of the highest-quality coffee in the world, with its unique geography making for excellent growing conditions. More than 500,000 Colombians work in the coffee industry, fulfilling a centuries-old tradition across nearly 2.2 million acres of Colombian highlands. Coffee growing is a central part of Colombian identity and culture; however, it is also one of the sectors in which child labor is most prevalent. This reality may be worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) released the yearly Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for 2020. The 20th edition of the report primarily consisted of analyses and narratives of the state of trafficking in each country recognized by the USDOS, with a special emphasis on law enforcement efforts. At Partners of the Americas (Partners), the Child Protection Unit’s (CPU) programs directly tackle many of the issues of child, labor, and sex trafficking addressed in the report’s country narratives and regional analyses.
Poverty is projected to increase by at least 20% in 2020, largely as a result of COVID-19, which could increase rates of child labor by 14%, according to a joint paper by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF. In 2020, Partners and it’s USDOL-funded projects have continued its efforts to combat child labor, forced labor, and improve working conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean throughout the pandemic.