The Harvest (2010 film)
|Directed by||U. Roberto Romano|
|Music by||Wendy Blackstone|
|Cinematography||U. Roberto Romano|
|Edited by||Nick Clark|
|Distributed by||Cinema Libre Studio|
The Harvest (Spanish: La Cosecha) is a 2010 documentary film about agricultural child labor in America. The film depicts children as young as 12 years of age who work as many as 12 hours a day, six months a year, subject to hazardous conditions: heat exposure, pesticides, and dangerous work. The agriculture industry has been subject to significantly more lenient labor laws than any other occupation in the United States. As a result, lack of consistent schooling significantly limits their opportunities of succeeding in high school or more. The hazardous conditions threaten their health and lives. The purpose of the documentary is to bring awareness of the harsh working conditions which tens of thousands of children face in the fields of the United States each year and to enact the Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act, HR 3564) which will bring parity of labor conditions to field workers that are afforded to minors in other occupations.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has different standards for children working in agriculture than in any other industry. The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs estimates that there are between 400,000 and 500,000 children working in the farming industry. Children as young as 12 years of age work in the fields. There is no minimum number of hours worked a day, aside from being outside school hours. They are exposed to the sun, harmful pesticides and hazardous conditions. Children are in up to three times greater danger of exposure to pesticides than adults due to their size and stage of development. The fatality rate is six times that in any other industry: children account for 20% of all deaths on farms. Although agriculture is a hazardous occupation, no statistics are maintained on child laborers and serious accidents.
Children who work on farms or in fields spend on average 30 hours a week, even during times of the year when school is in session. Of the children who work on farms, 50% of them will not graduate from high school. The United States Department of Labor estimates that children earn about $1,000 in one year.
The Harvest is a feature documentary film on the life of migrant children and their families in the United States. It revisits Edward R. Murrow’s Harvest of Shame, filmed 53 years ago, and reveals that little has changed over the past five decades in the lives of migrant farm workers in the United States. The Harvest, however, is told from a child's perspective as it presents four of the more than 400,000 children between the ages of 5 and 16 who labor in fields and factories, lacking the protections offered by the Fair Labor Standards Act that all other American children enjoy.
The film profiles several children and their families as they work through the 2009 - 2010 harvest seasons, facing risks of being separated, deported or death. A twelve-year-old girl, Zulema L., works in a field of strawberries. One of her earliest memories is being taught by her mother to pick and clean strawberries. Zulema struggles academically because of the family's seasonal movement. She has attended eight different schools in eight years. Not confident that she will make it to high school, she has no dreams about what her future could hold. The documentary tracks other children with their own stories of living a life of a child laborer.
Work began on the documentary in June 2007 and through the 2009 - 2010 harvests. In that time the project has followed harvests in Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio. The documentary was shot with cinematic scope. Post-production began in early winter 2010, with the completion of the film in fall 2010.
The Harvest was produced by Shine Global in association with Globalvision, Romano Film and Photography, and Eva Longoria's UnbeliEVAble Productions. Longoria signed on as an executive producer of the project in 2009. It was directed by U. Roberto (Robin) Romano, Director and Photographer of Faces of Freedom.
The Harvest premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival IDFA in Amsterdam in November 2010, and at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico on March 26, 2011. Distributed by Cinema Libre, The film had its theatrical debut in New York City on July 29, 2011, and became available on DVD October 2011.
Eva Longoria, director U. Roberto Romano, and associate director Julia Perez visited Capitol Hill to mark the anniversary of Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard’s introduction of the CARE Act legislation in September 2009. The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act, HR 3564) addresses the harshest conditions that tens of thousands of children as young as 12 years of age may be subject to, such as restrictions in the number of hours that children work in a day. The intention of the bill is to raise the standard for children working in agriculture to that of any other occupation in the United States. As of September 1, 2010 the bill had 103 co-sponsors. While on Capitol Hill, Longoria and Romano showed scenes from the feature length documentary to illustrate the harsh working conditions and exploitation of children in the fields.
A trailer of the film was first privately screened at a United States Department of Labor panel discussion, hosted by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and including Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers, filmmaker Robin Romano, Mark Lara from the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, and other experts. During the presentation, details of Roybal-Allard's bill were outlined: a child must be a minimum of 14 years of age to work in the fields, children under the age of 16 are restricted from working in the fields if it affects their health or school performance, and children under the age of 18 are restricted from hazardous work.
On August 12, 2014 Associate Director, Julia Perez, spoke before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on behalf of farm worker rights and child labor in U.S. agriculture. The UN press release mentioned the following:
A representative of the US Human Rights Network, speaking in a joint statement, raised concerns about the impact of pesticide products and other hazards in the cloth industry on workers, which were even causing deaths. Workers from minority backgrounds were subjected to discrimination and violations including wage theft, sexual violence and extremely substandard housing and camps. The network also raised concerns about child labour, saying that Hispanic children illegally worked harvesting cotton, in violation of International Labour Organization Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour. Furthermore, outreach and civil society members were prevented from accessing the workers and their camps because of police harassment. Lack of access to council and healthcare were two of the most acute problems facing migrant farm workers.
Julia Perez spoke about hundreds of thousands of children who worked legally in hard labour in the agricultural sector in the United States, including her own experiences. Ms. Perez said she was born in the United States, but for 12 years laboured as a child because she did not have a choice – as did many more Latino children today. The United States Department of Labour should remove the exception under the Fair Labour Act and eliminate child labour in the country.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination made the following concluding observations http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CERD/Shared%20Documents/USA/CERD_C_USA_CO_7-9_18102_E.pdf:
The Committee is concerned at the increasingly militarized approach to immigration law enforcement, leading to the excessive and lethal use of force by the CBP personnel; increased use of racial profiling by local law enforcement agencies to determine immigration status and to enforce immigration laws; increased criminal prosecution for breaches of immigration law; mandatory detention of immigrants for prolonged periods of time; and deportation of undocumented immigrants without adequate access to justice. It is also concerned that workers entering the State party under the H-2B work visa programme are at high risk of becoming victims of trafficking and/or forced labour, and that some CERD/C/USA/CO/7-9 9 children from racial and ethnic minorities, particularly Hispanic/Latino children, are employed in the agriculture industry and may harsh and dangerous conditions (arts. 2, 5 and 6). The Committee calls upon the State party to ensure that the rights of non-citizens are fully guaranteed in law and in practice, including inter alia by: (a) Abolishing “Operation Streamline” and dealing with any breaches of immigration law through civil, rather than criminal immigration system;
(b) Undertaking thorough and individualized assessment for decisions concerning detention and deportation and guaranteeing access to legal representation in all immigration-related matters;
(c) Reviewing its laws and regulations in order to protect all migrant workers from exploitative and abusive working conditions, including by raising the minimum age for harvesting and hazardous work in agriculture under the Fair Labor Standards Act in line with international labour standards, and ensuring effective oversight of labour conditions; and
(d) Ratifying ILO Convention No.29 concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour and ILO Convention No.138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment.
- Faces of Freedom a photo exhibit of exploitation of children in the hand-made rug industry
- Harvest of Shame, Edward R. Murrow's 1960 television documentary that told of the plight of migrant workers in the United States.
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- International Labour Organization
- Child labor
- Migrant worker
- "Learn the Facts". Children in the Fields. Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- "2011 Year of the Farmworker Child". Children in the Fields. Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- "The Harvest/La Cosecha, The Story of the Children Who Feed America". Shine Global. 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Tanklefsky, D (Mar 13, 2009). "Eva Longoria Parker to Executive Produce Child Farm Worker Documentary". Bay Media, LLC. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- "The Harvest". IDFA 2010. IDFA. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- EFE (March 28, 2011). "Eva Longoria Debuts "The Harvest" at Guadalajara International Film Festival". Entertainment. Fox News Latino. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Henely, Kalvin (July 29, 2011). "The Harvest/La Cosecha". Slant Magazine. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Engel, D.M. (October 11, 2011). "The Harvest/La Cosecha(2011)". Film Monthly. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Press Release". Offices of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. Sep 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- "Department of Labor, Panel Discussion About Migrant Farm Worker Children". Newsroom, Audio and Video, Better Work Program. U.S. Department of Labor. September 16, 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-27' See the video of the DOL panel discussion for more information and a trailer
- Official website
- The Harvest at the Internet Movie Database
- The Harvest at Shine Global
- Romano Archives, University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute
- U.S. Department of Labor Panel Discussion About Migrant Farm Worker Children and a Screening of the Trailer of the Documentary Film "The Harvest" - September 16, 2009