Child Labor: Labor Can Strengthen Its Efforts to Protect Children Who Work

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The U.S. Department of Labor does not adequately enforce child labor laws, in part because it does not sufficiently guide or train local staff, and because compliance goals and measurements are nonexistent or inadequate, according to this report. The report says the number of children age 15 to 17 who die each year from work-related injuries (about 70) has not changed much since 1992. However, the GAO said it was difficult to determine how many of the nation’s roughly 3.7 million workers under age 18 are injured; the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 13,000 children were injured in 1999, while the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health estimated 80,000 work-related injuries. The report includes several recommendations to improve compliance rates. 94 pages. Free. U.S. GAO, 441 G St. NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548. (202) 512-6000, (report 02-880).

– Mary Tess Driver, Della Mosley, Andrew Beadle, Patrick Boyle