Sending Office: Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard
Endorsed by American Federation of Teachers, Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, Bank Information Center, Beyond Borders, buildOn, Communications Workers of America, Farmworker Justice, First Focus Campaign for Children,
Free the Slaves, Global Campaign for Education—US, Global Fairness Initiative, GoodWeave, Human Rights Watch, Injury Control Research Center- West Virginia University, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International, Initiative to End Child Labor, International
Labor Rights Forum, Media Voices for Children, Migrant Legal Action Program, National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education, National Consumers League, National Education Association, National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association, The
Ramsay Merriam Fund, Save the Children, Solidarity Center- AFL-CIO, United States Fund for UNICEF, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Methodist Church- Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Women,United Mine Workers of America,
Walden Asset Management, A World at School, Winrock International, and World Vision
Cosponsors (38): Barragan, Blumenauer, Capuano, Cardenas, Carson, Cicilline, Clarke, Clay, DeLauro, Ellison, Eshoo, Evans, Gallego, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hastings, Jackson Lee, Bernice Johnson, “Hank” Johnson, Kaptur, Khanna, Lee,
Lofgren, Lowenthal, Lynch, McGovern, Moore, Napolitano, Norton, Pallone, Sablan, Schakowsky, Schiff, Serrano, Sires, Takano, Wasserman Schultz, Wilson
I write to ask for your support in ending a dangerous double standard that persists in United States child labor laws.
Agriculture is the only American industry that permits child workers as young as twelve to work without restrictions on the number of hours they spend in the fields outside of the school day. Children farm laborers receive no legal protection
for how early they start working during mornings, how late they work on school or weekend evenings, and the total number of hours they can work during the day. Reporting long, unregulated work schedules, half of children who regularly perform farm work do
not complete secondary education; high-school drop-out rates of child farmworkers quadruple the national average.
Child farmworkers also endure serious threats to their health and safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, agriculture is the most dangerous industry for young workers.
Working long hours in hot temperatures with sharp tools and heavy machinery, climbing up tall ladders, and lugging heavy sacks and buckets, child farmworkers risk serious injury and even fatality. Because of their early physical development, children are also
at heightened susceptibility to acute poisoning and other health problems associated with long-term pesticide exposure including cancer, brain damage, and reproductive problems.
This must stop: children who work on farms deserve the same rights and protections as children working in every other industry. Because of this, I have introduced H.R. 2886, the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) of 2017.
While retaining current exemptions for family farms and educational programs like 4-H and Future Farmers of America, the CARE Act would:
- Bring age and work-hour standards for children in agriculture up to the standards for children working in all other industries;
- Establish a minimum penalty for child labor violations;
- Increase the maximum civil monetary penalties and maximum criminal penalties for child labor violations;
- Provide children with greater protections against pesticide exposure in agriculture by raising the labor protections to EPA standards. Currently, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, which govern the use and application of pesticides, make
no special consideration for children.
For more information or to co-sponsor the CARE Act of 2017, contact Jose Miranda in my office at (202)225-1766 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Member of Congress
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