I recently ran across a good video (below) on exactly what the title implies: children working in agriculture in the U.S. Talk about an under-acknowledged issue of great concern! The statements of the kids and documentation of child farmworkers in the video are chilling.
Some key info and quotes from the video:
- Between 400,000 and 500,000 children (under 18) perform farm work in the U.S.
- More than 200 million children work worldwide, 70% of them in agriculture.
- “On some days it feels as if I was in an oven,” Mariana Gonzales, age 12.
- “Help me God because I don’t want to be here,” Selena Espinoza, age 11.
- “I prefer to die, because I don’t want to be there, working in the fields,” Yaresse Espinoza, age 15.
- These farm workers are, at times, directly sprayed with pesticides from planes while working in the field.
- Farmworkers are exposed to one billion pounds of pesticides each year.
- “I’ve seen in other places that children were born without noses or mouths because of the chemicals they are using.”
- 100,000 children are injured each year.
- “I have been working in the fields with my broken toe,” Jessica Garcia, age 13.
- “I got hit with a machete in my knee,” Jesse Garcia, age 12.
- “The average income for a migrant family is $15,000.”
- “About 2/3 of farmworker children drop out of school before they finish high school [to help their family work on the farms].”
Image Credit: screenshot of YouTube video above