Child Labor In Agriculture Essay

958 words - 4 pages

There are hundreds of thousands of child farm workers laboring under challenging and bad conditions in the United States of America. This is according to a human rights watch report dubbed, Fingers to the bone: United States Failure to Protect Child Farm Workers. This rights group made discoveries that the child laborers are often made to toil between twelve and fourteen hours a single day and stand a risk of pesticide poisoning, heat exposure effects, injuries and health complications that could last a life time. However, the majority of this population that makes up the child laborers is from Latino. This paper seeks to demystify the issue of Child Labor in agriculture in the United States using information from a Human Rights Watch.
The kind of rules that govern minors who work in agriculture have been found to be less strict when compared with those existing in other sectors of the economy. They unfortunately permit children to work at very young ages and for longer durations in very dangerous situations than children working in other sectors. Previous conducted researches attest to the fact that farm work remains the most perilous work that is available to children in the United States of America. This implies therefore that the laws in the country have to be changed if the health, safety and edification of children are to be guaranteed.
The federal law that was institutionalized in 1938 is the one responsible for the exemption of the child laborers from the minimum age and maximum hour requirement that protects other children. At the level of the state, eighteen of them lack a minimum age for farm work while others even have the minimum requirement to as shocking as nine or ten years. The report from the Human Rights Watch takes a keen look on the children aged between thirteen and sixteen. Many of these juvenile workers attested to the fact that they are forced to toil as many as seventy to eighty hours in a week and normally their days start before dawn!
Basing on a number of interviews with child farm workers and the farm worker activists, we can confidently deduce that: child laborers are regularly subjected to contact with dangerous pesticides, agonizing rashes, headaches, giddiness, queasiness and vomiting. Lasting repercussions of pesticide contact include amongst others, cancer, brain damage, education and memory complications (National Research Council Committee on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children, 1993).
The majority of child farm workers are forced to work without required toilet amenities, hand washing equipments or sufficient clean drinking water, the triple principal sanitation requirements. It is the insufficient hand washing equipments that also contributes to pesticide poisoning and bacterial contagion, while the deficiency of plenty drinking water can result to dehydration and heat complications. Child laborers most often toil in lands that are subjected to temperatures slightly above 100 degrees...

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