Sunday, March 05, 2023

Unaccompanied children found working in unsafe and unlawful conditions in the US

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If you think child labour was a problem we dealt with long ago, think again.

Earlier this week, the New York Times published a shocking exposé detailing the large-scale exploitation and abuse of migrant children across the United States. The report found that hundreds of immigrant children - many of whom are unaccompanied - are working in unsafe and unlawful conditions in at least 20 states across America. 

Over a dozen major companies, such as General Mills, Fruit of the Loom and Ford, were found to be using child labour. The neglect and abuse described in the report illustrates failures across multiple systems that are charged to protect child arrivals, and children in general. 

Meredith Owen, director of policy and advocacy for the US group Church World Service, said:

"The findings of this new investigation reveal heartbreaking and unconscionable exploitation of unaccompanied children at large-scale companies across the United States. 

"This report illustrates what we have known for some time: there is a failure across our country’s protection systems that is leaving the most vulnerable - in this case, children - in a position to be overlooked and exploited by those in power. 

It's time for our national, state, and local leaders to reflect this basic and foundational ideal by increasing protections for immigrant children and their families by preventing this exploitation and abuse in the future."

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