US Department of Labor awards $1.3M to help implement
WASHINGTON – Mexico’s Federal Labor Law Reform of 2012 protects workers from various forms of discrimination: female workers fired or never hired for being pregnant; LGBT workers retaliated against for their sexual orientation; and men and women sexually harassed in the workplace.
These and other forms of employment discrimination can cripple economies, denying working men and women economic security and equal opportunity. Freedom from workplace discrimination is also a fundamental human right and a matter of basic human dignity.
The United States and Mexico, along with their partner economies in the G20, have committed to work together to remove barriers to workforce participation, like discrimination, particularly among women. As U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez stressed at the G20 in Melbourne in July 2014, “Inclusion is not just the right thing to do; it’s one of the keys to maximizing our economic potential.”
In the spirit of this collaboration and commitment to workers’ rights, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs today announced the award of a $1,389,000 cooperative agreement to the human rights group, Heartland Alliance International to help the Mexican government implement the 2012 labor law reforms on discrimination, focusing on sexual orientation- and gender-based discrimination, and including sexual harassment and forced pregnancy testing.
“Protecting workers’ rights, including those of women and LGBT workers, is a moral and economic imperative and requires a global effort,” said Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Carol Pier. “We are confident that this funding will strengthen that effort by promoting effective implementation of Mexico’s historic reforms.”
The Government of Mexico has expressed support for HAI in this effort, which seeks to improve government enforcement of Mexican labor discrimination laws; amend private sector social compliance programs to better combat labor discrimination and increase employer participation in those programs; and expand worker awareness of the reformed Mexican labor laws on discrimination and how to effectively report violations.
Since 1995, ILAB has provided technical assistance to advance workers’ rights and livelihoods, particularly for the world’s most vulnerable workers, in countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement or a trade preference program. ILAB’s Office of Trade and Labor Affairs currently provides assistance to help countries meet their labor commitments under free trade agreements through reforming labor laws, strengthening labor law compliance, building the capacity of labor inspectorates, improving their occupational safety and health enforcement, and strengthening worker voice. OTLA oversees more than $75 million in grants to more than 70 countries to improve workers’ rights and livelihoods around the world.
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