NHMC Denounces Child Labor

March 10, 2023

A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)

Recently, the New York Times reported on the exploitation of migrant children who are victims of child labor across America. The article brought to light the dark and brutal realities for children who cross the border while their families are detained or back in their respective country of origin. Fortunately, the Biden Administration immediately responded by creating new initiatives with the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services to ensure children are safe and protected from exploitation. NHMC is outraged by the civil rights violations inflicted on migrant children and demands protections for our most vulnerable population in America.

There has been a significant increase in the number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States over the years, reaching up to 130,000 in 2022. These children are in vulnerable positions, seeking economic support for themselves and their families. As a result, child labor has been increasing across the nation in the past decade.

Although there have been recent efforts to keep our children safe, xenophobic narratives and state laws loosening child labor protections continue. Republicans in Iowa, Minnesota, and Arkansas plan to enact legislation that permits kids as young as 14 years old to work. Children should not be responsible for easing financial burdens. They should have the right to enjoy their childhood, attend school, and live in safe environments under sponsored, adult supervision.

NHMC is committed to combating harmful discrimination and xenophobic narratives in the media. We also call on legislators to take action towards prohibiting child labor nationwide in order to protect our migrant children in pursuit of a better life.

Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition