Child Labor

If you would like help accessing your school system services, contact Migrant Legal Aid.

The transitory nature of the migrant worker is burdensome to their children. Constant mobility disrupts their education; child farmworkers may attend 3-5 different schools per hear as they migrate from farm to farm.
Therefore, it is difficult for these children to complete their education. On average, a migrant farmworker receives only up to a seventh grade education, and only 13% of migrant farmworkers complete 12 years of school.

Coupling these statistics with the fact that there are many exceptions to the standard minimum age for children to work in agriculture leads to issues with child labor. With a parent’s permission, many children under 12 are permitted to work in the fields without restrictions on hours except during the school day. Furthermore, children working over 40 hours a week in agriculture are not entitled to overtime pay, which contrasts children in all other occupations who are prohibited from working more than 40 hours per week.

Migrant Legal Aid advocates for children workers by assisting families with school-related issues. These include enrolling children in school, transferring school credits, signing up for lunch programs, finding daycare, and providing school transportation. MLA ensures that the migrant children and parents can access the available services without discrimination.

Blueberry Farming Giant Found to Use Child Labor at Michigan Fields

Adkin Blue Ribbon Packing Company in South Haven, Michigan was found to use child labor. In this episode, Democracy Now! hosts look into the scandal, and speak with Migrant Legal Aid Executive Director, Teresa Hendricks.

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