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Broken Promises: Schatz Fights Child Labor Exploitation

Broken Promises: Schatz Fights Child Labor Exploitation

HONOLULU (KHON2) – On a cold day in Aberdeen Scotland in 1743, a young boy was playing with his friends on a pier in the harbor. Suddenly, a group of men came towards them. He didn’t say much; The men moved quickly to catch up with the boys.

The boys were the targets of a profiteering scheme by the city’s council where children were stolen from the streets and sold to the highest bidders in the New World. The boy escaped slavery, returned to Scotland, and sued his kidnappers. his name is Indian Pete,

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Eventually, after the literal Civil War, America banned slavery outside of the penal system. However, laws protecting children still did not actually exist.

When the manufacturing, mining, household, and agricultural industries lost much of their slave labor force, many people turned to children to fill the gap. Children under the age of 10, and sometimes even younger, toil for very low wages in work that adults may or may not be able to do.

With few families having access to family planning or sex education, there was a proliferation of families with many children. But, few families had the means to feed and clothe so many children.

Large families that were unable to provide necessities became rich breeding grounds for labor. The children had no rights, and families were desperate for money.

As labor movements progressed in America in the early years of the 20th century, child labor laws were eventually enacted. 1938,

Since then, child labor has been mostly illegal. However, over the past few decades, some politicians and corporate leaders have been attempting to erase the line that protects children from labor exploitation.

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For example, at the state level, Iowa legislators introduced a Bill Which will reduce the age limit for getting employment and increase the working hours of children. The bill would also strip children of workers’ compensation rights by shielding businesses from any liability if a child is injured or becomes ill while performing tasks related to their work.

one more Bill Ohio has attempted to increase the hours children can work and lower the age limit. and, Minnesota introduced Bill He will do the same.

At the federal level, Republican Dave Joyce of Ohio introduced a Bill For Congress that would expand working hours for children.

Labor Department found that exploitation of child labor has increased 69% since 2018,

Businesses are turning to children to fill positions that adults will not take, in order to overturn established laws protecting children from labor exploitation; And immigrant children are bearing the brunt of it.

last year alone, almost 4,000 children In another case with several large companies across the United States found to be victims of child labor exploitation, a wisconsin company Child laborers were found being exploited in slaughterhouses.

Labour Department is working to unearth companies that seek to exploit children because businesses use loopholes in employment laws that enable them to classify children being exploited for labor as contractors.

Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Michael Lazzeri told The Associated Press that “this case should serve as a stark reminder to all employers that the US Department of Labor will not tolerate violations of the law, especially those that employ vulnerable children.” put at risk.”

So, bringing us back to Hawaii, Sen. Brian Schatz has introduced a new federal bill that seeks to create protections for child victims of child labor exploitation.

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The Child Labor Protection Act would increase the maximum penalty for violating child labor laws and establish new criminal penalties for employers who exploit children.

Sen. Schatz said the Child Labor Prevention Act seeks to:

  • Increase the maximum civil penalty for an employer who exploits children for labor.
    • Minimum $5,000 – Maximum $132,270 for routine violations; And
    • $25,000 minimum – $601,150 maximum of $601,150 for each violation that causes death or serious injury to a minor.
  • Establish criminal penalties for repeat abusers of child labor laws or willful violations of child labor laws, including fines of up to $50,000 and up to one year in prison.
  • ensure that all working minors, regardless of classification, are covered by existing protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act; And
  • Index all fines to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to ensure that penalties increase over time.

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“Right now, our laws are allowing some of the worst employers to exploit children for labor with nothing more than paltry fines,” Sen. Schatz said. “Our bill will strengthen our child labor laws, hold employers accountable, and protect children from this illegal practice.”

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