Entries under ‘agriculture’

Robin Romano works with the Youth Arts Group
The Dreamers Among Us

I’ve raised two children, both adults now living in New York City where they’re currently pursuing their dreams.  As they grew up, attending the same public school a few years apart, there was never a question in our family of whether they’d attend college. Our regional high school sends almost 90% of the annual graduating [...]

© Robin Hammond/Panos
No Accident: Resilience and the Inequality of Risk

Oxfam briefing paper calling for a new approach to risk and poverty reduction.

Victor, age 15
The Persistence of Hope – An Open Letter to President Obama

Mr. President, Like millions of Americans, I was touched by your comments on election eve and again during your acceptance speech in Chicago, especially when you spoke of the future you envision for our children. You said “All those kids in inner cities, small farm towns — kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers [...]

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Closing Remarks of Virginia Murillo Herrera at Child Labour in Agriculture Conference

Kailash Satyarthi introduces the speakers on the dais, and the first speaker, Virginia Murillo Herrera, Executive President of Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional-Costa Rica (Defence for Children International-Costa Rica) addresses the conference (in Spanish). (Courtesy of the Global March Against Child Labour)

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Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture – Senator Tom Harkin Opening Remarks

Senator Tom Harkin opens the International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Washington, D.C. on July 28th 2012. The conference was sponsored by Global March Against Child Labour

Les Kettledas
Conference on Child Labor in Agriculture Remarks – Part Two

Les Kettledas, Deputy Director-General, Labour Policy and International Relations, Ministry of Labour, Republic of South Africa, speaking on behalf of Minister of Labour, Republic of South Africa, Ms. Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant at the International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Washington, D.C. July 2012. He is followed by Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of Education International, Geronimo Venegas, President, IUF Agricultural Trade Group, Constance Thomas, Director of the International Labour Organization’s International Programme for Elimination of Child Labour, and finally, Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of the Global March Against Child Labour. The conference was sponsored by the Global March Against Child Labour.

Chump Change and Smoke

I’ve just attended the Global March Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Washington DC.The room was filled with people committed to ridding the world of products made by child labor labor. They have their work cut out for them.

Framework of Action on Child Labour in Agriculture

Global March Against Child Labour International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture Washington DC, USA July 28-30, 2012 This International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture (28-30 July 2012, Washington D.C., U.S.A.): • organised by the Global March Against Child Labour; • and attended by 156 participants from governments, intergovernmental agencies, trade unions, teacher organisations, [...]

David Lizarraga and Congressman Joe Baca
A Glimmer of Bipartisan Hope for Children in Agriculture

On July 11, 2012 the House Agriculture Committee met to markup the 2012 Farm Bill. The media focused on the 16.5 billion cut over ten years to the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the replacement of subsides with insurance. I wonder if anyone noticed the three crucial minutes when Congressman Joe Baca introduced what [...]

© U.R. Romano
Hunger in America

This week at Media Voices, we are focusing on hunger, or food insecurity, in the United States. Coincidentally, the U.S. House of Representatives just passed a budget that is perfectly appalling in its implications for vulnerable children. The Ryan budget takes a giant step toward closing the gap between the United States and the developing [...]

© Julia Perez  Farmworker housing in North Carolina
Preserving America’s Family Farms Act: The Latest Strike Against Working Youth in Agriculture

In 2008, I started my personal journey to change the child labor law exemptions in agriculture. I still don’t understand politics, but as an engineer I do recognize trends. The opposition’s mode is not to rally, march, and protest. The people and organizations who want to keep the status quo in agriculture, including keeping someone [...]

Down on the Farm

This week at Media Voices, Julia Perez highlights the Congressional Farm Belt resistance to changing labor regulations in a way that extends the same protections to youth working in agriculture as we have in all other labor sectors. Her piece, The Parental Exemption on Family Farms: If Corporations Are People, Are They Parents Too?, points [...]

© U.R. Romano
The Parental Exemption on Family Farms: If Corporations Are People, Are They Parents Too?

As I read the recent headlines opposing the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed protections for working children in agriculture, my foremost thought was ‘I’m too logical for politics.’ In a few short months since the announcement, an estimated 98 Congressional Representatives and 28 State Senators rallied to protest and further request a stop to the [...]

The Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life

The links between climate change and industrial agriculture create a nexus of crises—food insecurity, natural resource depletion and degradation, as well as human rights violations and inequities. This report by the Böll Foundation unravels the interrelated causes of and effects on these issues.

The Harvest (La Cosecha)
U. R. Romano speaks at Tedx in Fruitvale

U. R. Romano, director of Harvest (La Cosecha), speaks at the Tedx Fruitvale: Harvesting Change conference about children working in the fields in U.S. agriculture, and the costs to them in terms of health and educational opportunity, of migrating across the country for months during the picking season.

Julia Perez
Why is DOL Holding Back?

On September 2, 2011 the Department of Labor (DOL) announced proposed revisions to child labor regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and is currently seeking public comments until Nov 1, 2011. The department is tasked with ensuring that work for young people is “safe, age-appropriate, and does not jeopardize their schooling.” Because of [...]

Every Thirty Minutes
Seeds of Despair

Several years ago, Dr. Wangari Maathai told us something I’ve never forgotten. If you want to save children, you must save communities. Because children are part of their communities. This week at Media Voices, we have a report issued by the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human [...]

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Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human Rights and the Agrarian Crisis in India

More than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years—the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. A great number of those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular. This Center for Human Rights and Global Justice Report focuses on the human rights of Indian farmers and of the estimated 1.5 million surviving family members who have been affected by the farmer suicide crisis to date. Economic reforms and the opening of Indian agriculture to the global market over the past two decades have increased costs, while reducing yields and profits for many farmers, to the point of great financial and emotional distress. As a result, smallholder farmers are often trapped in a cycle of debt.

New Pipeline
New Pipeline for Drought-Stricken Village

Unicef correspondent Rob McBride reports on the construction of an underground pipeline that will supply water to one of the worst drought-affected areas of northern Kenya.

Bravo! A Good Month for Children’s Rights

June 12th saw the annual observance of World Day Against Child Labor. When it comes to protecting children’s human rights, progress can seem painfully incremental and slow. But this year, there are many substantial efforts that merit our respect and admiration and get a BRAVO from Media Voices.

Children picking scallions
Onion Fields of Mexico

70% of all children work in agriculture. Here in Mexico, youngsters work in the hot sun with their families and are exposed to pesticides and the dangers of working near heavy agricultural equipment. 20% of all farm worker fatalities are children. Shot in 2003 for Stolen Childhoods.

U. Romano
Missing the Boat: 60 Minutes Reports on Children in the Fields

Generally, when 60 Minutes reports on a topic, there’s a sense that the best in American television journalism has taken the subject head-on. Not so, with last Sunday’s broadcast, Children in the Fields, a deeply misleading report on child labor in U.S. agriculture.

© Unicef
The Challenge of Adolescence

This week at Media Voices, we have a number of thought-provoking reports. Unicef has just issued the 2011 State of the World’s Children report, entitled Adolescence: An Age of Opportunity. As anyone who has ever been or ever raised an adolescent will know, this is a time of life that poses very particular challenges. The [...]

Harvesting for Life
Harvesting for Life

This is a film featuring one of the pilot programs of the Junior Farmer Field and Life School program in Mozambique, run jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Food Programme. In these schools, AIDS orphans and vulnerable youths are taught agricultural and life skills to enable them to grow and sell their own food and take care of themselves in the absence of their parents. This film was produced by FAO in 2005. Since then, the JFFLS schools have opened in many more countries, including Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Ghana, Gaza & West Bank, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.