U.S. Labor Secretary Solis Visits AIR’s ENTERATE Project in Nicaragua

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solís visited the child labor prevention project ENTERATE in Jinotega, Nicaragua on July 26, 2010 and met with children, parents and coffee producers who discussed efforts to eliminate exploitive child labor practices. The project is operated by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) under funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The ENTERATE (Educando Niños Trabajadores y Erradicando Actividades y Trabajos Explotadores) project is aimed at reducing the worst forms of child labor in Nicaragua by improving access to education.

Secretary Solis met with children at a school built on Los Potrerillos plantation in Jinotega and listened to their experiences as child laborers, as well as the benefits they receive by attending school because of the ENTERATE project. She also met with parents, community leaders and teachers and heard them describe the results the project has achieved in the 131 schools and 202 communities it serves.

After having lunch with the children, Secretary Solis met with coffee producers from the Jinotega region to learn more about ongoing initiatives to eliminate exploitive child labor in the coffee production and harvest, as well as about the needs and barriers for achieving this goal for the coffee sector as a whole in Nicaragua. The area around Jinotega accounts for 80 percent of Nicaragua’s coffee production.

"Ending child labor is not something that can be accomplished through a single law,” said Secretary Solis in remarks released by the Department of Labor. “These are the types of initiatives that need to be recognized and expanded to work toward this goal.”

The ENTERATE project is operated by AIR and its Nicaraguan partners, La Cuculmeca, INPRHU-Somoto, and Club Infantil. The project is working to reduce the worst forms of child labor in Nicaragua by providing access to and improving the quality education, as well as providing skills or vocational training for more than 10,000 children, mostly in the rural and urban areas of the Departments of Jinotega and Madriz.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.