With the new child labor bill in place, children will now be empowered with the necessary knowledge to shun exploitation.
Child labor is a long-prevalent stigma that has been affecting the lives of children. While there have been several debates regarding policies and practices, the problem still persists. However, the California government is taking a new step to prevent the same. To tackle child labor, California public schools will teach kids about child labor and their rights, as reported by VICE. The focus will heavily be on work safety and will "prevent child labor exploitation." The Office of Governor Gavin Newsom shared that the bill was signed into law and would be strictly followed by all public schools in California.
In a press release shared by Contra Costa News, assembly member Liz Ortega revealed that there will be a Workplace Readiness Week at all public high schools. The highlights of the same include teaching children about California's child rights, workplace rights, rights for minors at workplaces and so on. Ortega mentioned that the bill was passed to take a stand for the children of California and take action from a different perspective to eradicate the many issues arising due to child labor.
She said, "I am so proud to announce the passage of this first-of-its-kind law requiring schools to teach our kids about their workplace rights. We are seeing headlines about children abused at workplaces across the country―wage theft, violations of labor law and even serious life-changing injuries."
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She continued, "As Republicans in other states are working hard to put our children in harm's way, California is giving kids the tools to stand up for themselves." Ortega also emphasized the need to educate youth about their rights, even in workplaces. "Youth are having their wages stolen and being seriously injured at work because they don't know that they have a right to demand safety and hold their employers accountable. Teaching our youth about their rights at work is essential education―and it could save their lives," said the assembly member.
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While action is being taken against perpetrators of various child labor-related crimes, the government of California aims to inculcate understanding on the children's part, so there is no room for exploitation. VICE also shared several instances that accelerated the process and need for the law by sharing the crimes and injustices youth and children are facing in terms of jobs. The article mentioned working late hours during school nights, being exposed to danger and lack of sanitation, among the other issues of theft and exploitation. The law also aims to establish basic standards, keeping children's health and welfare at the optimum.
Child Labor Is Such a Big Problem That California Will Teach Kids Their Rights at School A new bill signed on Saturday will require schools to teach students about child labor, workplace safety, and rights to organize Jules Roscoe https://t.co/xiJpWSjlRZ https://t.co/14JtSrJlYu— Blue Java Banana🍌🌈🌊⛄🍀🌴 (@MosesDenton9) October 11, 2023
The California Child Labor Laws majorly shed light on the need for children between the ages of 14 and 17 to have completed 7th grade before working. Children in the lower age category between 12 and 13 are not to work during school days. With the bill in place, the hope is that children will learn and understand what they deserve and stand up for themselves. California's approach to uplift the children in this problem is commendable. It is a start to empowering children and imparting crucial practical knowledge as per the need of the hour.