Child Labor:

Information on Federal Enforcement Efforts

HRD-92-127FS: Published: Jun 15, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO answered questions on the proposed Child Labor Amendments of 1992 (S. 600), which would strengthen the enforcement of child labor standards through additional penalties and the use of work permits.

GAO noted that: (1) the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) does not have a formal policy to publicize the names of child labor law violators in the media and schools, although it sometimes does so; (2) WHD does not have a formal policy that requires district offices to target a number of investigations at previous violators; (3) of the 11 districts reviewed, 9 were in states that had work permit systems and 7 states used the permits to detect child labor violations; (4) WHD does not include information on repeat violations in its national investigation database; (5) several regions and two districts are independently developing their own tracking systems, but none of the systems are compatible with the national investigation database; (6) employers contested 18 percent of child labor cases in fiscal year (FY) 1989, 24 percent in FY 1990, and 29 percent in FY 1991; and (7) detected illegal employment in agriculture is a small part of total detected illegal employment.

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