New York, NY—Today, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced measures by the NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL) to address child labor in New York State, spurred by the recent investigation by the New York Times. The NYSDOL will lead an interagency child labor task force, a public education campaign, an employee pledge program, and a labor trafficking response unit.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“Immigrant children should be able to spend their days focused on learning at school, instead of being exploited by their workplaces because of their immigration status and their need to provide for themselves or their families. We look forward to working with Governor Hochul and the Department of Labor to ensure that nobody, especially children, has to endure exploitative labor practices. Particularly with rising inflation, precarious economic conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and limited legal pathways to work for many immigrant families, newcomers including children are increasingly being funneled into exploitative labor conditions. We call on New York State and local municipalities to step up investments in healthcare, affordable housing, childcare, and other social services to be made available to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status, to further address the root causes of what is forcing our children into the workforce.”