The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced that it is observing World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, 2023, by spotlighting and encouraging those, who can, to join the Within and Beyond Our Borders: Collective Action to Address Hazardous Child Labor organized by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 12, 2023, from 2:00-3:15 PM (EST).
Since 2018, the DOL has seen a 69 percent increase in children being employed illegally by companies. In the last fiscal year, the department found that 835 companies it investigated had employed more than 3,800 children in violation of labor laws. There has been a 26 percent increase in children employed in hazardous occupations.
“As I have said before, child labor exploitation can disrupt a youth’s health, safety, education, and overall well-being, which are unacceptable consequences for any child,” ACF Assistant Secretary January Contreras said in the announcement. “The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) supports a broad network of resources for vulnerable youth. We know that migrant and immigrant youth are especially vulnerable to exploitation, and it is often youth in or exiting the child welfare system who are targeted for various forms of exploitation. Child labor exploitation can impact children and youth across demographics.”
On March 24, 2023, the DOL and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a Memorandum of Agreement to advance ongoing efforts to address child labor exploitation. In addition, DOL and HHS are collaborating on training and educational materials. Additionally, ACF highlighted the following resources:
- DOL’s YouthRules! initiative promotes positive and safe work experiences for teens by providing information about protections to youth, parents, employers, and educators.
- The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)’s program on Runaway and Homeless Youth which provides a hotline for youth, concerned adults, and providers to access resources.
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline provides a 24/7, confidential, multilingual hotline for victims, survivors, and witnesses of human trafficking.