AFT executive vice president Antonia Cortese introduced a new online resource on child labor at a June 12 briefing on Capitol Hill, held to mark World Day Against Child Labor. The new resource for teachers and students, “In Our Own Backyard,” is intended to spotlight the hidden problem of child farmworkers in America, which affects as many as 500,000 children.

“This topic is important for us to address in the classroom and can serve as an effective tool for teaching students about the human impact of public policy and how they can change it,” Cortese says. The briefing also included a former child farmworker, the director of the International Labor Organization, the president of the National Consumers League and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.). Rep. Roybal-Allard has introduced the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment of 2007 (CARE Act), which would substantially increase protections for young farmworkers for the first time since the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938.

“In Our Own Backyard” is accompanied by a classroom poster and a DVD, which are available free (with a $2 shipping and handling charge) from the AFT Store .