The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs on Monday said it was awarding two grants to help strengthen workers’ rights in Peru and the Philippines through technical assistance projects to build capacity at the labor inspectorates in those countries.

In Peru, the DOL awarded $2 million to help build the labor law enforcement capacity of the Peruvian Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion’s new National Superintendency of Labor Inspection. In the Philippines, a $1 million grant was awarded to help improve the effectiveness of labor inspections, particularly in the area of occupational safety and health, and labor rights monitoring by workers, employers and their representatives.

“Labor inspections as a means of enforcing existing labor laws are essential to raising standards for workers around the world,” said Carol Pier, deputy undersecretary for International Labor Affairs. “These projects will build on existing efforts within Peru and the Philippines to help those countries better enforce their labor laws and protect workers’ rights.”

In Peru, the funds awarded to Capital Humano y Social Alternativo will help the MTPE centralize its labor law inspection and enforcement system and enhance labor law enforcement at the national and regional levels. The project will focus particularly on improving the MTPE’s enforcement of laws, regulations and other legal instruments governing subcontracting, outsourcing and the use of short-term employment contracts, especially in the country’s nontraditional export sectors such as textiles, mining, agriculture and fishing.

The Philippines has taken a number of steps to increase staff and enhance technology in the labor inspectorate. To assist in these efforts, the grant awarded to the International Labor Organization will help improve labor law compliance and labor rights monitoring.

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