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More bipartisan Senate bills curb US child labor

Lawmakers in the United States have introduced two Senate bills to address child labor violations, while a third bill aims to protect unaccompanied migrant children. The bills include measures to increase reporting requirements, disclose labor infractions, and penalize companies that violate child labor laws. The legislation follows a significant increase in child labor cases in the US.

Lawmakers in the United States have introduced a series of Senate bills aimed at addressing the growing issue of child labor violations. These bills target companies with federal contracts that employ children, increase reporting requirements to Congress, and seek to improve protections for unaccompanied migrant children working in hazardous conditions. The first bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Cory Booker and Republican Josh Hawley, would require companies competing for federal contracts to disclose child labor and worker safety infractions or face penalties. It would also establish a list of companies ineligible for federal contracts based on violations of child labor laws. This bill builds on previous efforts focused on companies contracting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The second bill, introduced by Republican Marco Rubio and Democrats Alex Padilla, John Hickenlooper, and Republican Roger Marshall, would require the Labor Department to provide detailed reports to lawmakers on child labor cases, including information on the perpetrators and victims involved. The third legislative effort, led by a group of Democratic Senators, aims to reform the government's care of unaccompanied migrant children and includes measures to increase access to visas for victims of crime and workers who have experienced labor violations. These bills come in response to a significant increase in child labor violations in the U.S., with investigations finding nearly 5,800 illegally employed children in the 2023 fiscal year. Reports have exposed child labor in industries such as meatpacking plants and car part manufacturing, often involving migrant children. The proposed legislation seeks to strengthen U.S. law and ensure the protection of these vulnerable children.

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