Eva Longoria lobbies against child labor in the U.S.
Unfortunately, the agricultural industry is one of the few in which child labor for minors age 12 and older is tolerated. Even more surprising is that there are no limits set on hours worked.
"What occurs in work camps in this country is a tragedy. We can't let this continue in the United States," Longoria said.
In September 2009, the CARE (Children's Act for Responsible Employment) bill was introduced to Congress. The law would establish harsh penalties for employers not complying with child labor laws and impose a five-year prison term for those who willfully and repeatedly violate child labor laws that would result in the serious injury or death of a child.
The law would also raise the standards regulating the level of pesticides child laborers are exposed to. "Children laboring in the fields do so at a young age and for longer hours than their peers working in other industries. We have to end this unacceptable double standard," said California Democratic Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, the main proponent of the bill.
The film 'The Harvest,' produced by Longoria, focuses precisely on the subject. 'The Harvest' examines the daily lives of migrant children working under such conditions, focusing on three Latino children ages 12, 14 and 16. The children are among an estimated 400,000 toiling in the United States.
The film shows how the three travel thousands of miles with their families, dealing with extreme weather conditions, apart from the dangers involved in their odysseys and the pain and emotional disconnection brought on from the children's separation from family and loved ones.
See some of the footage from 'The Harvest.'
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