NYSDOL Demand Solutions On Exploitative Child Labor Abuses

March 3, 2023

Today, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced measures by the NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL) to address child labor issues from Harlem to the Hudson.

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.”

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy & advocacy organization that represents over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout New York. The NYIC serves one of the largest and most diverse newcomer populations in the United States. The multi-racial and multi-sector NYIC membership base includes grassroots and nonprofit community organizations, religious and academic institutions, labor unions, as well as legal and socioeconomic justice organizations. The NYIC not only establishes a forum for immigrant groups to voice their concerns, but also provides a platform for collective action to drive positive social change. Since its founding in 1987, the NYIC has evolved into a powerful voice of advocacy by spearheading innovative policies, promoting and protecting the rights of immigrant communities, improving newcomer access to services, developing leadership and capacity, expanding civic participation, and mobilizing member groups to respond to the fluctuating needs of immigrant communities.

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