The Labor Department through its Bureau of International Labor Affairs has announced $13 million in grants to promote employment among at-risk youth in El Salvador and Honduras.

“The project will target youth ages 14 to 17 that are susceptible to the worst forms of child labor, as well as youth ages 18 to 20 that are susceptible to hazardous and exploitative working conditions, primarily targeting youth that reside in communities with high levels of crime and violence,” the grant announcement stated.

El Salvador and Honduras are among the most violent countries in the world. Honduras had a homicide rate of 79 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, and El Salvador had a homicide rate of 41.2, according to the Labor Department.

Over 64 percent of Hondurans and over 34 percent of El Salvadorans live in poverty. In Honduras, the net enrollment rate for 7th through 9th grade is 48.7 percent and 25.1 percent for 10th to 11th grade. In El Salvador, there is a 37.6 percent net enrollment rate for 9th through 11th grade, the grant noted.

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