The U.S. Congress and indivual states have tried to tackle child labor problems through legislative remedies.

CARE Act Reintroduced–Would Equalize Protections for Children Who Work in U.S. Agriculture

Child Labor Coalition Press Release

More progress needed to reduce child labor; Urgent action required on Uzbekistan, Domestic Workers Convention, and U.S. farmworker children

For release: June 10, 2011

Contact: NCL Communications, (202) 835-3323, media@nclnet.org

Washington, DC—As World Day Against Child Labor on June 12 approaches, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC) is alerting the public that more than 200 million children still toil around the world, often in dangerous jobs that threaten their health, safety, and education.

Here in the United States, the CLC is applauding the anticipated re-introduction of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) plans to sponsor once again next week. The legislation [H.R. 2234] would close loopholes that permit the children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers to work for wages when they are only 12 and 13 years old, often in harsh conditions—10- to 12-hour days of bending over and performing repetitive tasks in 90- to 100-degree heat.

“It’s time to level the playing field by closing these loopholes, which go all the way back to 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was introduced,” said CLC Co-Chair Sally Greenberg, the Executive Director of the National Consumers League, a consumer advocacy organization that has worked to eliminate abusive child labor since its founding in 1899. “We must offer these children the same protections that all other American kids enjoy.”

“Working migrant children pay a heavy price educationally for their labor,” said Antonia Cortese, a Co-Chair of the CLC  and the Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.5 million public service employees. “Many farmworker children leave school before the school year ends and return after it begins. The constant travel and work wears many children out. They struggle to catch up academically, but for many it’s a losing battle—and more than half never graduate high school.”

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107 Groups Endorse the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which would extend child labor protections to many children working in U.S. agriculture.

The Children’s Act for

Responsible Employment

[CARE has been reintroduced as H.R. 2234 in the current session of Congress]

The CARE Act  has been endorsed by the following 107 organizations:

  • Action for Children North Carolina;
  • AFL-CIO;
  • Alliance for Justice;
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee;
  • American Association of University Women;
  • American Federation of Teachers;
  • American Rights at Work;
  • America’s Promise Alliance;
  • Amnesty International USA;
  • Asian American Justice Center;
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance;
  • Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs;
  • Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers  International Union;
  • Bon Appétit Management Company;
  • California Human Development;
  • California Institute for Rural Studies;
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation;
  • Calvert Group Ltd.;
  • Center for Community Change;
  • Change to Win;
  • Child Labor Coalition;
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers;
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women;
  • Children’s Alliance, Washington State;
  • Communications Workers of America;
  • Covenant with North Carolina’s Children;
  • Dialogue on Diversity;
  • East Coast Migrant Head Start Project;
  • El Centro Latino of Western North Carolina;
  • Farmworker Advocacy Network [North Carolina];
  • Farm Labor Organizing Committee;
  • Farmworker Association of Florida;
  • Farmworker Justice;
  • First Focus Campaign for Children;
  • Food Chain Workers Alliance;
  • Galen Films;
  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network;
  • General Federation of Women’s Clubs;
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities;
  • Hispanic Federation;
  • Honest Tea;
  • Human Rights Watch;
  • Interfaith Worker Justice;
  • International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers;
  • International Brotherhood of the Teamsters;
  • International Initiative to End Child Labor;
  • International Labor Rights Forum;
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates;
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement;
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America;
  • La Fe Policy Research & Education Center of San Antonio;
  • Laredo, Texas (City Council)
  • Latino Advocacy Council of Western North Carolina;
  • Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • League of United Latin American Citizens;
  • Legal Momentum (formally the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund);
  • MAFO (The National Partnership of Rural and Farmworker Organizations);
  • Maine Children’s Alliance;
  • MALDEF—Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund;
  • MANA, A National Latina Organization;
  • Media Voices for Children;
  • Migrant Clinician’s Network;
  • Migrant Legal Action Program;
  • MomsRising;
  • NAACP;
  • National Consumers League;
  • National Education Association;
  • National Employment Law Project;
  • National Farmworker Alliance;
  • National Farm Worker Ministry;
  • National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth;
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates;
  • National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education;
  • National Collaboration for Youth;
  • National Foster Care Coalition;
  • National Hispanic Medical Association;
  • National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association;
  • National Organization for Women;
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA);
  • NCLR (National Council of La Raza);
  • North Carolina Council of Churches;
  • North Carolina Justice Center;
  • Oregon Human Development Corporation;
  • Oxfam America;
  • PathStone;
  • PCUN—Pineros y Campesinos  del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers)
  • Pesticide Action Network North America;
  • Pesticide Education Center;
  • Pesticide Watch;
  • Pride at Work;
  • Public Education Network;
  • Ramsay Merriam Fund;
  • Results;
  • Robert F.
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Proposed changes to child labor law spark concern in Maine

[from the Lewiston Sun Journal]:

By Steve Mistler, Staff Writer

Published Mar 10, 2011 12:00 am | Last updated Mar 10, 2011 12:00 am

AUGUSTA — Groups representing restaurants and hotels sparred with worker advocates on Wednesday over a bill that would ease work restrictions within the state’s 20-year-old child labor law.

The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Hampden, and backed by Gov. Paul LePage. Both believe high school-age students should be allowed to work longer hours and more often during the school year.

Opponents said the proposal would dial back child-labor protections enacted in 1991 to prevent employers from pressuring minors into working longer hours. They also worried the proposal would shift emphasis from education and school-sponsored, extra-curricular activities.

Currently, 16- and 17-year-olds can work a maximum of 20 hours per week when school is in session. On school days, students can work a maximum of four hours a day and no later than 10 p.m.

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The CARE Act Had 107 Cosponsors in Last Congress

[The current Congress has not yet seen the expected re- introduction of the CARE Act. The information below if for the Congress that ended in December of 2010].

The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment

The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) would extend child labor protections to U.S. agriculture. It would prohibit 12- and 13-year-olds from working in agriculture. It would extend labor protections to 14- and 15-year-olds that all other young workers currently enjoy, restricting the hours you can work and prohibiting work that is unsafe. It would also bar 16- and 17-year-olds from doing work that is none to be hazardous–as is the case in all other industries. The bill also calls for increased fines, added pesticide protections for children, and injury reporting requirements for growers when young workers are injured.

(CARE), HR 3564, has 105 Cosponsors

Rep. Abercrombie, Neil

Rep. Baca, Joe

Rep. Becerra, Xavier

Rep. Berman, Howard

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