Children As Young as 10 Working on Farms To Make Ends Meet

Farming” by Beshef licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: The Atlantic

Though child labor is regulated in most industries across the U.S. with age requirements between 14 to 16 years old, there are still certain industries that have been met with exception, such as small agricultural businesses.

Small farm owners are allowed to hire children at any age under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and The Atlantic reports that this has been the foundation of many small farms. For larger farms, children can start working on the fields at the age of 12.

The absence of real standards for labor in agriculture has led to at least 300,000 to 400,000 children working on U.S. fields, picking cash crops year-round in states where agriculture makes up a large percentage of the economy, according to the Child Labor Coalition.

In many cases, The Atlantic reports, workers don’t know who they are working or even in what fields they will be working in for the day. They are paid in cash, and little paperwork is done in the process, allowing for more children and their families to work in these industries without ever being able to identify the companies that had employed them in the first place.

Read Full Story: The Atlantic

Children & Families, News
Children & Families, News