Working to end child labor—in the US

| November 19, 2013

In the U.S., children as young as 12 are allowed to work on tobacco farms, performing backbreaking labor and putting their health and lives at risk, according to a story by Gabriel Thompson and Mariya Strauss for The Nation. (

The authors point out that agricultural work in general is dangerous. Workers might be exposed to pesticides and the possibility of acute nicotine poisoning. And they are vulnerable to hazards involving farm vehicles, grain silos and manure pits.

Since 2012, when the Obama administration rescinded plans to implement new safety measures and a ban on children working on tobacco farms, at least 13 young agricultural workers have died.

The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment, introduced by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard this year but blocked by the Republican-controlled Education and Workforce Committee, would bring child labor standards in line with protections in other industries and increase civil penalties for abuse, the story said.

“The measure faces stiff opposition, but the exploitation of children, in the final telling, should be impossible to defend,” it argued.

Category: Breaking News

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