Bureau of International Labor Affairs

$86 million*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) has worked with partners to provide direct services to nearly two million vulnerable children. ILAB’s efforts have helped reduce exploitative labor, combat forced labor, and provide technical assistance to address worker rights in countries which the U.S. has trade agreements or preference programs.

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Justification for Funding

  • According to the International Labor Organization, 152 million children are engaged in child labor, 73 million work in hazardous conditions, and 24.9 million people are subject to forced labor.
  • As the sole U.S. agency for combatting exploitative child labor, ILAB has contributed to the global   effort that has seen a reduction of 94 million children in child labor since 2000. Since 1995, ILAB projects have withdrawn and provided education to close to 2 million children and supported nearly 170,00 families to meet basic needs without relying upon child labor.
  • ILAB’s work to monitor and enforce the labor provisions of trade agreements and preference programs helps ensure fair competition and a level playing field for U.S. workers and businesses.

Cost of Cuts Below $86 Million

President and Congress Budget Comparison

       Congressional Budget   

       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • Proposals to end ILAB’s programming would end all U.S. programming to reduce international child labor and would directly impact roughly 150,000 children annually who benefit from ILAB.
  • The economic costs of child labor amount to 2.4% to 6.6% of the world’s gross national income annually. Child labor reduces future human capital by reducing educational attainment and the ability to secure stable jobs later in life.
  • ILAB’s work in ensuring U.S. trading partners are effectively implementing labor standards not only assures better conditions, but also gives American workers an opportunity to effectively compete in global markets and helps ensure that products made with forced labor or child labor are not sold to American consumers.


$91 million

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Additional Funding

  • $86.13 million represents the historic low-water mark for ILAB funding since the beginning of its programmatic funding.

Impact of 6% More Funding

152 million children
are estimated to be engaged in child labor worldwide.

  • By restoring historic funding levels, InterAction members estimate Congress can help assure ILAB will reach 10,000 to 15,000 additional children annually in its programming.
  • Additional funding could also help ensure greater capacity for ILAB to guarantee U.S. trading partners are effectively implementing labor standards, leveling the playing field for American workers in global markets.

*Enacted FY18 Omnibus Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Tom Buttry, tbuttry@interaction.org

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