The Biden administration is spending $4 million on a study of how child labor and global warming are connected in Nepal. Through its Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), the U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it will release $4 million in federal taxpayer dollars to fund a technical assistance project in Nepal. The goal is to improve communities’ awareness and response regarding child labor and forced labor in the face of climate change.
The deadline for applications to the sizable grant is October 9, and winners should be revealed by the end of December.
The project’s primary goals are to improve knowledge of the interplay between climate change and the danger of child labor and forced labor and to facilitate the development and implementation of climate adaptation strategies that are child-focused, gender-sensitive, and socially inclusive.
Applicants must conduct a gender equity and social inclusion study to identify possible obstacles to equal participation in and control over resources and decision-making that may be experienced by men, women, boys, and girls from underrepresented groups.
According to the grant’s language, “locally-led” efforts to combat climate change should work with the Nepalese government to meet the needs of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has called the Biden administration’s spending of $4 million on this research “absurd.” He said that the Department of Labor was killing the nation by funding an investigation into the connection between global warming and child labor.
Western Energy Alliance president Kathleen Sgamma said the Biden administration has been using climate change as an “explanation for everything” rather than providing practical solutions to help people experiencing poverty in Nepal. She said that a complicated report on climate change does little to help low-income families and ensure that children are not forced to work in sweatshops instead of attending school. Thea Lee, the deputy undersecretary and head of ILAB, has previously held positions on the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center and the progressive Economic Policy Institute boards.