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Action Needed: Help Us Save the Progress on Child Labor that Has Been Made

[An important blog from CLC-member World Vision. A call to action appears further below]:

Action needed: An update from Cambodia on the fight against child labor.

We want to say thank you to our advocates. In addition to making phone calls and having meetings, you have sent over 15,000 emails to members of Congress asking that funding be restored to the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) for programs that help fight child labor. We are down to the eleventh hour for these programs — we now need your help to thank the champions as well as help remind key decision makers that these types of cuts will not go unnoticed. 

You are the reason Congress is still talking about theses programs, the reason these cuts have not gone unheeded. Jessica Bousquette shares from her recent trip to Cambodia, where she saw the positive effects of ILAB programs to help prevent child labor first hand. Then we share the two things you can do — in less than two minutes — to continue the fight for these programs. Your two minutes could change the life of a child.

By Jessica Bousquette

Around the houses perched on stilts, green rice shoots swayed gently in the wind and cars raced up the dirt road.  We sat on a blue tarp in a community near Siem Reap, a tourist hotspot in Cambodia famous for the World Heritage site Angkor Wat. As a toddler waddled between adults, I sat with a community group of about a dozen women and one man as they recounted how their life and their family’s lives had changed a result of being a part of a savings group.

The group has been working together for over a year to increase their savings through mutual support and accountability. With the savings, the group has been able to provide loans to members to expand their home businesses and agricultural productivity. When a member has an emergency, like an unexpected hospital visit, they can receive an emergency loan. This not only transforms their families’ access to income and nutrition, but also protects their children from hazardous labor. Oftentimes around the world, children end up working to pay off debts that arise when families cannot financially handle unexpected emergencies.

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New app seeks to raise awareness of the worst forms of Child Labor and Forced Labor

 

USDOL app

 

 

The US Department of Labor recently released an exciting new tool to help consumers figure out if the products they purchase are made with child labor or forced labor.  The sheer size of the 2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor produced by the Bureau of International Affairs (ILAB) highlights the reality of this problem – the hard copy version of the report is over 1,000 pages long and weighs in at over eight pounds. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates 168 million children globally are engaged in child labor, including 85 million in hazardous labor; 21 million people are trapped in forced labor, including 6 million children. Think of the DOL “Findings” report as a road map that tells us where children are working. It also includes vital information about how 140 countries are combating child labor.

On Wednesday 30th September ILAB launched their brand new app, ‘Sweat & Toil’ – now available from itunes and the App Store, which features the report data in a way that makes it much more accessible.  The app enables an individual to search by country name or product.  It includes a country specific review of the current laws and ratifications and the efforts by that country being made to eliminate child labor and assesses its progress. For example, a user can click on “Albania” and learn that the country made “moderate advancement” in dealing with child labor in 2014. By clicking on a statistics button, the user learns that 87.5 percent of child workers toil in agriculture in the country.  … Read the rest

Poultry processor House of Raeford to pay fine for child labor violations at Teachey, NC, plant following US Department of Labor investigation

U.S. Department of Labor Press Release/Wage and Hour Division [Oct. 16, 2012]

TEACHEY, N.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor has assessed a total of $12,400 in civil money penalties against poultry processor House of Raeford Farms Inc. following an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found minors performing hazardous duties prohibited by the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor provisions.

“Employers who hire young workers must comply with all federal and state regulations intended to keep our youth safe on the job,” said Richard Blaylock, director of the division’s Raleigh District Office. “This situation is particularly disappointing because the company previously was cited for the same type of violation. It is critical for employers to learn about and comply with the child labor provisions of America’s labor laws.”

Investigators found that two minors, both age 17,were employed in the company’s deboning department, where they were required to operate an electric knife in violation of the FLSA’s Hazardous Occupation Order No. 10, which prohibits workers under the age of 18 from operating or cleaning powered meat processing equipment, including meat slicers.

In addition to paying the civil money penalties, the company has agreed to maintain future compliance with the FLSA’s child labor provisions.

House of Raeford Farms Inc. has processing facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana, including six fresh poultry processing plants and two further processing plants.

The FLSA establishes a minimum age of 18 for workers in those nonagricultural occupations that the secretary of labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old workers or detrimental to their health or well-being.… Read the rest