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Old 11-30-2011, 03:20 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,549 posts, read 51,767,813 times
Reputation: 82971

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Child labor refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labor. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries. In many developed countries, it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding household chores, in a family shop, or school-related work).
But in the US, children as young as twelve can legally work in the fields for an unlimited number of non-school hours.
Yes! Federal law allows farmworker children to work unlimited hours in the fields outside of school hours and many farmworker children report working 60 or 70 hours a week. Children typically described going to work full-time outside of school at age 11 or 12. Even very young workers, ages 7, 8, 9, are not difficult to find working in the fields, however. Human Rights Watch interviewed children who said they picked strawberries at ages seven and eight in Florida, picked blueberries at age seven in Michigan, picked and shucked green peas in Virginia at age eight, and hoed cotton at ages seven, eight, and nine in Texas.
They can pick berries and even drive a tractor. According to a US Department of Labor (DOL) report, tractor-related accidents are the leading cause of death for young farmworkers.

Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about the children of growers, but children employed as farm workers.

In the 1990s every country in the world except for Somalia and the United States became a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC. Somalia eventually signed the convention in 2002.
Americans seem concerned that the food they purchase is not tainted by child labor, but I think that many of them do not know about child labor and how truly dangerous farms are as workplaces ( one of the biggest concerns is the impact pesticides might be having on these kids who work long hours in treated fields, often with little or no protection ).
The United States spends over $25 million a year — more than all other countries combined — to eliminate child labor abroad, yet is tolerating exploitative child labor in its own backyard.

Fields of Peril | Human Rights Watch
American Public: Young Farmworkers Deserve Equal Protection of Child Labor Laws– Consumer Survey Finds Americans Concerned about Youth Working in Ag; – stopchildlabor
Children working on farms at younger ages, report says | Need to Know | PBS
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:26 PM
 
5,644 posts, read 3,194,565 times
Reputation: 6627
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Child labor refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labor. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries. In many developed countries, it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding household chores, in a family shop, or school-related work).
But in the US, children as young as twelve can legally work in the fields for an unlimited number of non-school hours.
Yes! Federal law allows farmworker children to work unlimited hours in the fields outside of school hours and many farmworker children report working 60 or 70 hours a week. Children typically described going to work full-time outside of school at age 11 or 12. Even very young workers, ages 7, 8, 9, are not difficult to find working in the fields, however. Human Rights Watch interviewed children who said they picked strawberries at ages seven and eight in Florida, picked blueberries at age seven in Michigan, picked and shucked green peas in Virginia at age eight, and hoed cotton at ages seven, eight, and nine in Texas.
They can pick berries and even drive a tractor. According to a US Department of Labor (DOL) report, tractor-related accidents are the leading cause of death for young farmworkers.

Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about the children of growers, but children employed as farm workers.

In the 1990s every country in the world except for Somalia and the United States became a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC. Somalia eventually signed the convention in 2002.
Americans seem concerned that the food they purchase is not tainted by child labor, but I think that many of them do not know about child labor and how truly dangerous farms are as workplaces ( one of the biggest concerns is the impact pesticides might be having on these kids who work long hours in treated fields, often with little or no protection ).
The United States spends over $25 million a year — more than all other countries combined — to eliminate child labor abroad, yet is tolerating exploitative child labor in its own backyard.

Fields of Peril | Human Rights Watch
American Public: Young Farmworkers Deserve Equal Protection of Child Labor Laws– Consumer Survey Finds Americans Concerned about Youth Working in Ag; – stopchildlabor
Children working on farms at younger ages, report says | Need to Know | PBS
Several years ago on LI, they rounded up the migrant farm workers without green cards. The crops were not getting picked because they could not get anyone to work their farms; not even their OWN CHILDREN. One local family farmer wrote into the local papers that teenagers didn't want to pick crops during summer vacation, not even his own kids. He wrote that his son got a job working in fast food and his daughter was working in summer camp. Apparently, he only had 2 kids. What did he do? He held Pick Your Own days to the general public, just so his crops wouldn't rot in the fields.

Have you heard what Newt said? Union School Janitors should be fired and the CHILDREN can work cleaning the schools. With all the CHEMICALS around that they have to use? A 10 year old, or even a 16 year old, is going to know to wear gloves and read the cautions on the chemicals to safely disinfect sinks, toilet bowls, etc.? Will they have to clean up urine, blood, or vomit in bathrooms too? I wonder if Newt himself would know how to clean and dispose of bio hazzards?

Some people only see $$$$$$$, and not the dangers,
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,015 posts, read 8,080,914 times
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What does not kill you makes you strong! My kids bale for me and anybody else that needs them. Hopefully I can get them on a rock picking crew this spring......If some people worked a little harder when they were kids maybe they wouldn't be in the OWS crowd today......
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:17 PM
 
Location: John & Ken-ville
13,692 posts, read 15,115,240 times
Reputation: 9491
From the original post:

Quote:
Federal law allows farmworker children to work unlimited hours in the fields outside of school hours and many farmworker children report working 60 or 70 hours a week.
So this would be time they work outside in the field in addition to attending school. O.K. I don't have a problem with that.

Children have been working in the fields in the United States since before this nation was created.

So they're up in the morning early before school to put in a few hours and then after school and put in hours. Sounds like stories recounted by our great grandparents. It's how work is done. They all turned out o.k. and so will these kids. They'll just have less time to spend vegetating in front of the t.v. playing Xbox.

We're not talking about kids in China scavenging a trash heap for batteries, picking peas is different and the child gets paid.

Think about that family minus the child's income. Some families require the entire household to work in order to make ends meet.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,115,151 times
Reputation: 9523
Good grief.
DH and I have worked since we were 14; I was a daily 'after school nanny' for 3 elementary-age children, cooked dinner for the family, and even went on trips with them so the parents could go out at night. At 16 I rode my bike after school and in the summer, rain and shine, 10 miles to a drive-in restaurant, where I worked as a carhop. At 17 I bought my own clothes, and my own car. DH worked as a busboy and then a golf course maintenance guy, then at 16 went to work in the mantenance garage at Sears. We have worked all of our lives, and raised our kids to work - our son at 16 was a night-desk-clerk for a motel, our daughter worked after school at a video store from the time she was 14 until she graduated and went to college. They kept their grades up and even played sports - but worked 30-40 hours a week (Saturdays and Sundays too). They also had chores at home.

Now where I live, 12 year olds can rope a calf from the back of a horse and throw it down, steer it and medicate it. At 14 they not only play football, volleyball, and basketball, but herd cattle and drive tractors and hay balers. At 16 they are getting loans and buying their own cattle, and raising them for profit! Many of them by the time they graduate college are part-owners of their parents' ranches... they bought in like the adults they learned to be.

While I don't think much of forced immigrant labor, restricting children from working across the board not only limits the childrens' opportunities, but teaches them that labor is something to be avoided, and that they don't have to worry about planning their time and efforts around responsibilities. When they start working at a young age, they learn not only how to manage money, but how to achieve goals and decide early on not only what they want to do - but what they NEVER want to do. They learn that they can control their own lives, and not have to depend on/beg from anyone else.

One of my foster kids called me awhile back to thank me for teaching him how to work and plan at a young age. "There I was, standing there in the back of the restaurant, washing dishes, and it hit me. I remembered the time I cut school and you came and picked me up and lit into me. "Do you want to be a dishwasher the rest of your life??" you hollered at me. Right then, with my hands in soapy water, I realized you were RIGHT, and no I didn't! So I went out the next day and registered for classes, and I would never be where I am (a foreman on a federal construction site) if you hadn't made me THINK and WORK."

Teaching kids to work at a young age gives them a foundation for the rest of their lives, and denying them that foundation will result in disaster - not only for their individual growth, but for the growth of this country.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:04 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,549 posts, read 51,767,813 times
Reputation: 82971
I guess that's fine if we are talking about farmers own kids, or neighbors kids. Farm chores are educational, teach kids the value of working and kids in most farms help their parents in varies fields. Kids should learn responsibility and I read that most actually had fun, earned some money, and now speak kindly about those times.
But I am not sure about small kids employed as farm workers. Those are migrants kids, sometimes 7-8 year old, that work way longer than 8 hrs, and earn way less than minimum wage. I don't even think they have time to go to school. Sure, they help their parents, and every dollar counts. It also teaches them a good habit of work and get paid.
I am not familiar with this situation, just recently read several articles about that. Wanted to hear your opinion.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,547,847 times
Reputation: 24548
I started working on my step father's amusement park when I was about six years old. Eventually I was the builder, mechanic and metal worker as well as train driver, ticket collector and sweeper. This lasted, without pay, until I was 14. I have never worked without pay since. I worked, for very low pay, bailing hay for a dairy farm. That cured me of farm labor. In a similar manner serving in Vietnam cured me of the military. College, supported by a miserly compared to the WW2 version GI bill, provided a decent life ever since.

The most important thing about hard work is it teaches you to work smart not hard. Hard work makes you tired. Smart work can get you a decent living. Working too hard or too smart get you fired.

Regardless I am completely opposed to forcing childern to work. They should spend their time at school work and learning how to get along with other students. Slaving in some land baron's field or some step fathers obsession is simply stealing an unrecoverable childhood. Going to War completes the alienation.
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