La Isla Network is partnering with World Vision on a collaborative effort to reduce child labor and improve the protection of labor rights in migrant agricultural communities in Veracruz and Oaxaca, Mexico.

In 2016, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) awarded World Vision a four-year, USD $7 million grant to implement the Campos de Esperanza (“Fields of Hope”) (CdE) project in Mexico. An additional USD $1.75 million was awarded in September 2017, allowing the project to broaden its scope by incorporating an occupational safety and health (OSH) component focusing on the prevention and management of chronic kidney disease of unknown causes (CKDu), which has been associated with agricultural work in the sugarcane sector.

Under Campos de Esperanza, La Isla Network will be responsible for leading the project’s CKDu study. Building off the success of their Adelante Initiative, LIN will develop and implement a protocol for OSH best-practice to protect workers from CKDu, support the design of content for awareness raising and training material, train technical staff and field promoters, and run the follow-up of the occupational implementation to ensure success.

The project’s approach also involves raising awareness to change families’ frequently held beliefs that child labor is either necessary or beneficial, and to make them aware of their rights under the law. At LIN, we have seen far too often that illness and death of primary family earners from CKDu and other heat-related occupational injuries can result in child labor, as children take to the fields to replace the lost income of their parents. We intend to break this cycle by supporting robust, accountable, adequately implemented and properly assessed OSH programs to ensure that workers and their families are protected from the extreme temperatures and strenuous labor conditions that are driving the CKDu epidemic.