16 September, 2010

Child Labor in Agriculture

from change.org:

The Fair Labor Standards Act, the law which regulates the types of jobs people under 18 can hold, allows children working in agriculture to work longer hours at younger ages than in any other industry. Child farmworkers drop out of school at four times the rate of other children. They die at four times the rate of other children. And they are significantly more vulnerable to extreme forms of exploitation, like human trafficking, because of the lack of legal protections available to them. And as Longoria points out, a disproportionate number of those children are Hispanic.

The Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) would fill in some of these protection gaps. For example, it would apply the same minimum age and maximum working hour requirements to children working in agriculture that other working children enjoy. That would include raising the minimum age for hazardous work from 16, which it currently is for agriculture, to 18, which it is for everything else. It would also increase fines for child labor violations from $11,000 to $15,000.