• Description

Unfortunately, kids even younger than 12 often accompany their parents to work on American farms and fields. This means that farmworker children are being put at risk from a very young age – even before birth – from the pesticides, dangerous equipment, and other hazards populating those environments. Teenagers are permitted to operate various equipment from a young age, which corresponds to an increase in the rate of tragic accidents involving youth. Though children are at the height of vulnerability when they are still in the womb, there are inadequate protections for farmworkers who are expecting a child. Children also interact with their environment in fundamentally different ways than adults, yet this is not in regulators' minds when setting standards for things such as pesticide use. All of this results in a surfeit of negative outcomes in farmworker children: cancer, developmental disorders, serious injury, etc., which diminish their future prospects and quality of life. The severity and continued prevalence of these issues in the farmworker community demands our attention and action. The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) is dedicated to fighting child labor injustice through its Children in the Fields Campaign (CIFC). As part of that Campaign, we have developed this publication to educate readers about the top 10 issues facing farmworker children in America today, and what we can do about it.