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Executive Director Strauss Decries Hazardous Conditions of Child Field Workers - AFOP Executive Director David Strauss urged participants at the National Migrant Head Start Annual Conference to work to change harmful labor standards that put thousands of children that work in agriculture at risk - AFOP.org
Executive Director Strauss Decries Hazardous Conditions of Child Field Workers

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Washington, DC, United States, 2009/02/06 - AFOP Executive Director David Strauss urged participants at the National Migrant Head Start Annual Conference to work to change harmful labor standards that put thousands of children that work in agriculture at risk - AFOP.org.

   
 
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Strauss said that, “These children are caught up in a cycle of poverty. It is a grave injustice that our government fails to provide safety provisions for American children age 12 and up that work in agriculture.”

As many as 400,000 children are estimated to work on U.S. farms each year to help support their struggling families. Farmworker children should not receive less protection from labor laws because they must work in agriculture—an industry that no longer deserves sweeping exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, legislation that was enacted almost 70 years ago when our national economy was vastly different.

Children In the Field Facts
· Children working in agriculture face serious health threats.
Children account for about 20 percent of all farm fatalities. Between 1992 and 2000, 42 percent of all work-related deaths of minors occurred in agriculture. According to the Government Accountability Office, in 1998, more than 100,000 children and teens are injured on farms each year. Farmworkers regularly work in fields treated with pesticides—some of which are known carcinogens. Child farmworkers are exposed to the same pesticide levels as adults, yet likely face a far greater health risk. In March 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that children under two may be 10 times more vulnerable to cancer from chemicals and pesticides that cause gene mutations.

· Farmworker children are not being afforded the same protection as other working children.
Federal laws permit a child aged 13 to work in 100-degree heat in a strawberry field, but do not permit that child to work in an air-conditioned office. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) the legal age to perform most farm work is only 12 if a parent accompanies the working child. Children who are 14 or older can work unlimited hours in the fields before or after school hours. The same law requires a minimum age of 14 years for non-agricultural work and limits such work to 3 hours per day while school is in session.

· We must ensure that farmworker families make a living wage.
Many migrant children work to supplement family income. In 2002, researchers found that 57 percent of farmworkers earned less than $12,500. The average farmworker family made between $15,000 and $17,500, well below the federal poverty level for families of four or more people.

 
 
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Written by / Agency / Source: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Program

 
 

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Executive Director Strauss Decries Hazardous Conditions of Child Field Workers

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Publisher Contact: Matthew Sheaff - AFOP.org 
202-828-6006 sheaff[.]afop.org
 
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Issuance, publication or distribution of this press release in certain jurisdictions could be subject to restrictions. The recipient of this press release is responsible for using this press release and the information herein in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations in the particular jurisdiction. This press release does not constitute an offer or an offering to acquire or subscribe for any Association of Farmworker Opportunity Program securities in any jurisdiction including any other companies listed or named in this release.

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