AFL-CIO Delegation Travels to Honduras to Study the Effect of Trade Policy on Unaccompanied Minors Crisis
On October 12th, an AFL-CIO delegation traveled to the Central American county of Honduras to hear firsthand how trade policies are contributing to the current humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border. The group, which included allied community organizations, spent three days in Honduras visiting worksites and meeting with union members, government officials and non-governmental organizations in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.
Failed free trade agreements such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), combined with the economic downturn, have increased corruption, poverty and outsourcing in Honduras. Growing economic inequality has forced many Honduran families without access to good-paying jobs to migrate out of the region or fall into a life of crime.
In response to the deterioration of worker rights and working conditions, the AFL-CIO and partner Honduran unions submitted a complaint under the labor chapter of CAFTA requesting the US government work with the Honduran government to ensure it is complying with the terms of the labor chapter in the trade agreement. At the conclusion of the visit, the delegation will release a report with recommendations for an improved trade model that can address the needs of workers.
As of August 31, 2014, U.S. Border Patrol has encountered 17,975 unaccompanied Honduran minors – the largest of any Central American country. Honduras also has the highest per capita murder rate in the world.
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