The Centre Joins Campaign to End US Child Labour

The Centre for Child Rights and Business has become a member of the Campaign to End US Child Labor, joining over 30 non-profit organisations, academia and trade unions to raise awareness of the urgent action needed to eradicate child labour from the United States.


Since 2015, the number of child labour violations in the US has risen by nearly 300 percent and in the last three years alone instead of protecting children, 28 states have sought to roll back child labour laws.


In the last two years, awareness of child labour has surged in public and political debate in the US, highlighted by alarming and tragic stories of children, some as young as 10, found working in fast food franchises, performing hazardous work in meat-packing facilities, auto supply factories, and prohibited roofing jobs, among other industries. Behind the headlines are deep-rooted, interrelated injustices keeping hundreds of thousands of children working legally and illegally in exploitative child labour conditions. This includes loopholes that allow children to perform U.S. agricultural work for unlimited hours beginning at age 12 (as long as the work is not during school hours).


The Campaign is calling for these common-sense actions from federal and state government and other relevant stakeholders:


  • Protect unaccompanied minor children

  • Close child labour loopholes between agricultural and non-agricultural work

  • Increase enforcement and establish stronger consequences for child labour violations

  • Create legislation that holds corporations to account

  • Develop stronger labour rights laws and working conditions

  • Establish a social protection system which prevents all children and families from falling into poverty


We believe The Centre can play an important role in this campaign by raising awareness of the child labour crisis in the US, and highlighting how the private sector can turn the tide on child labour violation surges.


We know that businesses have the potential to positively impact children, even in challenging settings. We are already actively working with business clients in the US who are committed to understanding and addressing child labour risks in agriculture, meat-processing and manufacturing sectors. Laws may be weak or silent on pertinent matters that affect children’s well-being, but that should not stop businesses from acting responsibly.


No child should be working long hours in dangerous conditions for low pay. Now is the time to take a stand.


For more information about the Campaign to End US Child Labor and how you can support it, please visit To learn more about our work in child labour prevention and remediation, please visit or contact us.

Published on   20/02/2024
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