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Underage and Unprotected: Migrant Teens Exploited in Seafood Processing Plants

October 03, 2023 (1 min read)
"The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating possible violations of child labor, overtime pay, and anti-retaliation laws at two processors and one Rhode Island-based staffing agency."
"A two-year investigation by The Public’s Radio reveals how some migrant teens end up working in risky jobs at seafood processing plants in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Underage and Unprotected examines the role of staffing agencies, which many teens said hired them and sent them to jobs at processors. The series also exposes weaknesses in the systems government agencies rely on to uncover child labor law violations. And it shows the toll the work takes on young people. Reporters interviewed more than two dozen migrant teens who said they worked in processing plants as far back as 2016. All of the teens said they had to work to pay debts to smugglers, send money home to their families, or support themselves."