NO. R-92.  Joint resolution designating March 26, 2003 as child labor awareness day.

(J.R.H.12)

Offered by:  Representatives Partridge of Windham, Bartlett of Dover, Darrow of Dummerston, Deen of Westminster, Edwards of Brattleboro, Hube of Londonderry, Marek of Newfane, Milkey of Brattleboro, Obuchowski of Rockingham, O’Donnell of Vernon, Pillsbury of Brattleboro and Rusten of Halifax.

Whereas, the evils of abusive child labor practices continue to exist in many countries where children work under untenable conditions in industry, agriculture, mining, the sex trade, and as bonded laborers, and

Whereas, these children are deprived of the opportunity to receive an education, may start to work as early as at the age of four, and are not paid a livable wage, and

Whereas, according to the International Labor Committee, an affiliate of the United Nations, 250 million children worldwide are trapped in life‑threatening working conditions, and

Whereas, the problems associated with child labor are not limited to the third world, as recent news reporting has described the exploitation of child labor in American territories, and there are an estimated 250,000 sweatshops within the 50 United States that use child labor in an abusive, if not unlawful, manner, and

Whereas, in 1998, students at Brattleboro Union High School and the School for International Training in Brattleboro jointly established an organization named Child Labor Education and Action (CLEA) with a mission of “preparing youth and adult advocates to eradicate exploitative child labor policies and practices,” and

Whereas, in an example of direct action to eliminate child labor, in 2001, 16 CLEA members and five advisors traveled to the western highlands of Guatemala to begin the construction of a school in the extremely impoverished village of Pasac Segundo, where there is little running water, let alone electricity, and

Whereas, CLEA has donated additional funds and supplies which enabled construction of the six‑classroom, two‑story building, completed in May 2002 with the miraculous inclusion of modern indoor plumbing and lavatory facilities, and

Whereas, in an effort to focus broad attention on child labor practices, CLEA is organizing a statewide Child Labor Awareness Day (CLAD) on March 26, 2003, and

Whereas, all of the CLAD activities are intended to make Vermonters more acutely aware of the evils associated with abusive child labor practices, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly designates March 26, 2003 as Child Labor Awareness Day in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send copies of this resolution to Lizzie Krasner in Putney and to John Ungerleider at the School for International Training.