PADF and the Government of Mexico Sign Agreement to Combat Child Labor

Washington, D.C. (October 24, 2013) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Mexico’s Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) are forging a new partnership to support a national campaign to combat child labor. PADF corporate partners Fundacion Telefónica and Viacom International have pledged over one million dollars in financial and in-kind support.

Exploitation and child labor represent a significant problem in Mexico and in many parts of Latin America even though the prevalence of child labor has been falling in recent years. Its practice continues to harm the physical and mental development of children and adolescents and interferes with their education. In Latin American countries 1 in 10 children between the ages of 5-14 work, while in Mexico, it is estimated that between 8 and 11 million children under the age of 15 work.

Child labor reinforces intergenerational cycles of poverty, undermines national economies and impedes achieving progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. It is not only a cause, but also a consequence of social inequities reinforced by discrimination. To help tackle this issue, PADF is supporting the Government of Mexico’s efforts to raise public awareness and change behavior through an innovative communication campaign with Viacom International (MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1). The campaign will primarily target youth and will include tailored content developed by Viacom’s award winning creative production team.

“PADF is very pleased to be partnering with the Government of Mexico in this important campaign. It builds on the work we have been doing to help at-risk youth over years in Mexico and Central America; particularly regarding child labor and human trafficking. This project exemplifies PADF’s Public Private Partnership approach to address social problems, engaging stakeholders from the Government, NGO’s and the Private Sector,” said Paul Fisher, Director of Corporate Partnerships and Development for PADF.

The campaign will engage the public through short educational videos, video games, public service announcements, online competitions, music videos, virtual platforms to share information, , and generate publicity in general through social media and others mass media channels.

In 2012, PADF conducted a similar mass media campaign focused on anti-human trafficking called Tu Voz Contra la Trata (Your Voice Against Human Trafficking – This campaign was also supported by the Mexican government, MTV Latin America, Telefónica, Cinépolis and over 50 local civil society groups. The campaign reached more than 5 million people in 11 cities in Mexico, including Mexico City and was extended to Central America in 2013.

In the past PADF has cooperated with Mexico in responding to humanitarian crises produced by natural disasters. Following a powerful earthquake that struck Mexico in 1985, PADF rushed vital aid to help save lives of those trapped in the rubble and provided relief supplies and other aid. Most recently, PADF worked with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Caritas Emergencias to deliver aid to flooding victims in the state of Veracruz following Hurricane Ingrid. In November 2012, PADF provided in-kind furniture to the Interactive Museum La Rodadora (Museo Interactivo La Rodadora) in Ciudad Juarez, which offers learning activities for children, youth and families.

About PADF

The Organization of American States established PADF in 1962 as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization to work with the most at-risk communities in Latin America and the Caribbean and partner with private enterprise to implement socio-economic development programs throughout the region. Since its inception, PADF has been committed to bringing together various stakeholders, including community groups, local NGOs, the private sector and governments, to create public-private partnerships that improve the lives of the least advantaged people in the Americas.

PADF has impacted more than 50 million people in every country in the region with programs valued at more than $1 billion working with various private and public sector donors. Today, PADF is a development leader within the Inter-American system. During fiscal year 2012 alone, it benefited 10.4 million people in 29 countries. PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname and Honduras.