A Call for Action!

Please help Brittany Shoot by signing this petition (http://humantrafficking.change.org/petitions/view/end_child_labor_in_us_agriculture_support_the_care_act) at Change.org.

Most people believe that the only type of child exploitation that occurs in the U.S is sexual. Unfortunately this is not the only type of exploitation that occurs. There is evidence that is being found that there are numerous children that are being forced in working in our agricultural industry. Forced labor cases do not exclusively involve adult men. Recently ABC news did an investigative report in where they visited Blueberry farms in North Carolina, New Jersey and Michigan and they found a child working in fields who was only 5 years old. They also found children ages 7, 8 and 11 working in the blueberry fields. It is heartbreaking to see a child as young a five working these types of jobs and knowing that this child’s basic human rights are being denied.(Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed in 1948 by the UN) At this time I have taken a stand against this type of child exploitation. I have stopped shopping at stores that sell merchandise made by children who are being exploited. I have also signed this petition on Change.org in hopes that our Congress will make some changes regarding our Child Labor laws. I hope that you will help me advocate for Congress to pass the CARE ACT. By passing the newly updated Children’s Act for Responsible Employment, or CARE Act (HR 3564), our Senators and Representatives can take a stand against child labor in U.S. agriculture.

Hundreds of thousands of children are employed as farmworkers in the United States today. Though child labor laws are in place for many sectors, agriculture has a major labor law loophole that exploits children. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), children often work ten or more hours a day with sharp tools, heavy machinery, and dangerous pesticides, and die at 4 times the rate of other working youth. They are often unable to keep up with their peers and drop out of school in alarming numbers.

By passing the newly updated Children’s Act for Responsible Employment, or CARE Act (HR 3564), you can take a stand against child labor in U.S. agriculture. Among other important assurances, the CARE Act would apply the same age and hour requirements for children working on farms as applied to children in other sectors. It would raise fines for child labor violations, and it would require better data collection on child labor in agriculture by the U.S. Department of Labor. It would also preserve the family farm exception that excuses children working on their parents’ farms.

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