Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 4, 2014 – From December 2- 4, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Patricia M. Haslach along with Abdulfatah Abdullahi Hassan, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, State Minister Zerihun Kebede and Margaret Schuler, Director of World Vision, traveled to the Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Region to meet with local officials and visit programs addressing the issue of child labor, among others, supported by the United States government.
During the trip, Ambassador Haslach visited a number of regional zones, woredas and cities to meet zonal administrators and department heads, school officials, students and recipients of programs managed by partners working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Highlighting the importance of the trip, Ambassador Haslach said, “I am pleased to visit the beautiful SNNP region. The SNNP is an incredibly diverse region with a very important cultural imprint. It has been rewarding seeing and hearing about it first hand, meeting with regional leaders and seeing U.S. engagement in the region on a broad range of issues. In particular I appreciated traveling with Minister Abdulfatah because it underscores our shared commitment in fighting the scourge of exploitative child labor.”
In its effort to target the sources of child labor, the United States Department of Labor-supported E-FACE projects implemented by the World Vision aim to improve the overall academic environment in primary schools and thereby significantly increase the likelihood of young students staying in school. Some young students in the past may have been discouraged by poor school conditions and therefore entered an often exploitative child labor market.
Ambassador Haslach also visited AQ Rose in the Oromia region, implemented through USAID. AQ Rose is a horticultural company established in 2006 that serves as a site of the USAID/PEPFAR-supported MULU Worksite HIV Prevention Project, which aims to prevent HIV infections, especially in large worksites.