Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Toward protecting girls and boys laboring on U.S. farms

-- The United States has failed to meet its obligations to implement International Labor Organization (ILO) convention against the worst forms of child labor.

-- It is a “matter of urgency” that the U.S. do so by updating its law and regulations on child labor.

That the central message of a report issued this month by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

Last November the U.S. government restated its “strong commitment’ to the convention, # 182, ratified and signed in 1999, but, according to the ILRF, the evidence of non-compliance has four dimensions.

1. Regulations listing particularly hazardous jobs have not been updated in 30 years.
2. Current labor law exempts various categories of children from protection against employment in hazardous agricultural jobs.
3. Current law does not prevent children from working long hours in agriculture.
4. Laws that do give child agricultural laborers some protection are not well enforced.

ILRF’s recommendation as a “first step” toward compliance with the convention is directed toward Congress: swift passage of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which would raise the standards protecting children in agriculture. For more information, click
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