Today in America, as many as 500,000 children work as hired labor in our fields and orchards. They are among the least protected of all working children.
Since 1997, AFOP’s Children in the Fields Campaign has been dedicated to ensuring that farmworker children are protected and given an opportunity to succeed in life. By educating the public, advocating for educational programs for farmworker children, and supporting fair living wages for all farmworkers, the Children in the Fields Campaign strives to get farmworker children out of the fields and back into schools.
The Children in the Fields Campaign’s goals include:
- Documenting the level of child labor in agriculture in California, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas
- Educating the public and leaders at the local and national level about the conditions under which these children labor
- Building grassroots and national support for policies and programs that help keep underage farm worker children out of the fields and in school
The Children in the Fields Campaign has partnered with the Child Labor Coalition, the National Consumers League, and other concerned parties to protect farmworker children. Together, they work to publicize the plight of this hidden population and advocate for federal policies that would strengthen the child labor safeguards in agriculture so that they are just as protective as those in other industries.
In 2009, the Children in the Fields Campaign launched a new phase to increase grassroots efforts in five key states and garner support for better protection of farmworker children under the law, providing them with equal opportunities for success. Regional Coordinators in the farmworker communities of California, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas have formed community coalitions and farmworker youth councils to raise awareness about the persistent issue of child labor in our agricultural system.
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