CEADEL in Guatemala
CEADEL was founded in April 1999 in Chimaltenango, with a mandate to improve working and living conditions for marginalized groups such as children, adolescents, youth, and women workers. Over the years, CEADEL has developed a special focus on child labor, adolescent labor, and women workers in the formal sector – both in non traditional agricultural sectors and in the maquilas. The organization also works to address the problem of youth gangs.
To achieve its objectives CEADEL researches and documents the situation of its target groups. It also holds trainings for the defense and promotion of labor rights, promoting the participation and protection of children, at-risk youth, adolescents and women workers. To complement the above, CEADEL holds formal and informal education programs and works to help strengthen the capacity of unions and youth organizations. CEADEL also engages in political advocacy efforts by building upon its research.
One of CEADEL’s recent research initiatives, supported by the ILRF, has led the organization to meet with various governmental institutions and private initiatives to ascertain information about the poinsettia industry and the specific companies who have exporting rights in this sector. Some of these include the association of non-traditional exporting firms (AGEXPORT); the Ministry of Agriculture; the Ministry of Economy; the Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria (SAT), a national tax agency); and the labor inspectorate. In conducting this research, CEADEL has also interviewed farm workers to obtain testimonies and met with institutions.
CEADEL’s research findings from this particular project indicate that there have been notable improvements in the poinsettia industry since the organization’s 2004 study of the flower industry. However, companies continue to persist in violating workers’ rights, through denials of severance pay and adequate compensation for example. Similarly, workers lack basic information about the law, and their entitlements and rights, and women in particular lacked knowledge about maternity rights.