Today, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper joined Senators Marco Rubio, Alex Padilla, and Roger Marshall to introduce the Child Labor Accountability Act. The bipartisan legislation would ensure Congress receives a detailed annual report from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on child labor violations and provides DOL with more time to obtain a court order to halt the shipment of goods produced with unlawful child labor.
“Across the country, kids are being exploited for low-paid, dangerous labor – especially vulnerable migrant children,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “Our bill will increase accountability and transparency, and make it easier to identify and stop child labor.”
Earlier this year, major media outlets broke news of flagrant abuses of child labor – especially for vulnerable, migrant children – at companies across the United States. Following these reports, Senators Hickenlooper and Padilla sent a letter to the CEOs of 27 major companies accused of violating child labor laws, demanding they take immediate steps to stop the ill-treatment of children.
“Above all, minors in America should not be exploited, and U.S. law needs to be strengthened to make sure these children are protected from abusive scenarios,” said Senator Rubio. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure Congress receives more information to better address these illegal practices.”
“We must do everything in our power to crack down on companies illegally profiting off the exploitation of child labor — including unaccompanied migrant children,” said Senator Padilla. “That’s why I’m proud to join Senators Rubio, Hickenlooper, and Marshall, working across the aisle to expand the window in which the Department of Labor can hold companies accountable for these unacceptable abuses and require more comprehensive annual reports for Congress on federal child labor law violations.”
“Violating child labor laws is a heinous crime that should be met with strict and swift penalties,” said Senator Marshall “Congress should have access to all of the information when looking into these abuses that are targeting children. The additional reporting required in this bill is essential for us to better combat child labor offenses in the future.”