US : The fields of shame
01-0712-6813web thumbnail
02-0712-6826web thumbnail
03-0712-6853web thumbnail
05-0712-7037web thumbnail
06-0712-7042web thumbnail
07-0712-7099web thumbnail
09-0712-7133we thumbnail
11-0712-7190web thumbnail
12-0712-7217web thumbnail
13-0712-7368web thumbnail
14-0712-7127web thumbnail
15-0712-7442web thumbnail
16-0712-7234web thumbnail
17-0712-7458web thumbnail
18-0712-7461web thumbnail
0712-7479hd thumbnail
20-0712-7554web thumbnail
21-0712-7586web thumbnail
22-0712-7589web thumbnail
0712-6767hd thumbnail
0712-6789hd thumbnail
0712-6759hd thumbnail
23-0712-6738web thumbnail
24-0712-7704web thumbnail
25-0712-7728web thumbnail
26-0712-7741web thumbnail
29-0712-7801web thumbnail
0712-6777hd thumbnail
30-0712-6809web thumbnail
31-0712-8047web thumbnail
01-0712-6813web
02-0712-6826web
03-0712-6853web
05-0712-7037web
06-0712-7042web
07-0712-7099web
09-0712-7133we
11-0712-7190web
12-0712-7217web
13-0712-7368web
14-0712-7127web
15-0712-7442web
16-0712-7234web
17-0712-7458web
18-0712-7461web
0712-7479hd
20-0712-7554web
21-0712-7586web
22-0712-7589web
0712-6767hd
0712-6789hd
0712-6759hd
23-0712-6738web
24-0712-7704web
25-0712-7728web
26-0712-7741web
29-0712-7801web
0712-6777hd
30-0712-6809web
31-0712-8047web

Five in the morning. Saray, 11, right, and her sister Maria, 13, prepare to work in the fields. Temperature is already heavy. Like every morning from april to september, Saray will work in the fields with her sister and her parents.

Almost six in the morning. Saray, 11, leaves home to work in the fields. Temperature is already heavy. Like every morning from april to september, Saray will work in the fields with her sister and her parents.

Saray, 11, puts on her gloves against cuts and pesticides. But they won't last long and will be torn out in a few hours

Saray works every morning from 6 o'clock on. Despite she is one of the youngest workers, she will carry 7 kilos-buckets full of pickles, just like the adults. In july, heat is over 40°C. Saray works in the fields since she is 8 or 9. Her mother thinks its a shame to have her children work, but the money earned by Saray and her sister are of a great help for the whole family.

Saray works every morning from 6 o'clock on. Despite she is one of the youngest workers, she will carry 7 kilos-buckets full of pickles, just like the adults. In july, heat is over 40°C. Saray works in the fields since she is 8 or 9. Her mother thinks its a shame to have her children work, but the money earned by Saray and her sister are of a great help for the whole family.

Bonifacio, 13, carries a bucket of pickles, working in the fields during summertime.

Maria is 13 and works in the morning in the pickles fields and in the tobacco fields in the afternoon. She will carry 7 kilos-buckets full of pickles, just like the adults. In july, heat is over 40°C. Like Saray, Maria works in the fields since she is 8 or 9. Her mother thinks its a shame to have her children work, but the money earned by Saray and her sister are of a great help for the whole family.

Ricardo, 14, left, and Bonifacio, 13, having a short break in the shade of a truck. Ricardo has no other choice but working in the fields since he will be father in a few months.

Saray having a break, sheltering from the sun under the truck. In july, temperature rises up to 40°C.

Ricardo, 14 and Bonifacio help out each other in the fields.

At the end of the morning, Maria counts the tickets earned by the family. Each ticket is worth 75 US cents, which is a very low wage as compared to workers in other working sectors. Maria filled 24 buckets making USD 18 for 7 hours of work

A worker shows the tickets he earned in the morning. Each ticket is worth 75 US cents, which is a very low wage as compared to workers in other working sectors.

Bonifiacio, 13, with the wife of the team leader.

Maria, 13, Jayro 5, and their mother Filagonia, at the end of their morning of work. Jayro says he will not work in the fields when he'll be a grown-up.

Filagonia the mother, Jayro, 5, Saray, 11, and her older sister who is pregnant, prepare the lunch in the kitchen of their house.

Saray, 11, right, and her older sister who is pregnant, prepare the lunch in the kitchen of their house.

After 7 hours of work in the fields, Maria is exhausted as she is having lunch. In the afternoon, she will work in the tobacco fileds. Saray works in the tobacco fields but not every afternoon. She says " after hours in the tobacco fields, the nicotine odour is so strong, i can't smell anyhting". At left, Maria's elder brother who is a full-time field worker.

The two sisters, Maria and Saray, right, share time off in their bedroom after their working day.

On saturday, the team leader invited the community to celebrate the birthday of one of his grand-children. Birthday is taking place in a shed full of vegetables boxes.

Saray asks he DJ to play his favourites songs. On saturday, the team leader invited the community to celebrate the birthday of one of his grand-children. Birthday is taking place in a shed full of vegetables boxes.

On saturday, the team leader invited the community to celebrate the birthday of one of his grand-children. Birthday is taking place in a shed full of vegetables boxes.

A painting of the Virgin Mary will be offered to the family the team leader who invited the community to celebrate the birthday of one of his grand-children. Birthday is taking place in a shed full of vegetables boxes.

The Alvarez family in front of their house in North Carolina.

“Every time you eat a salad, you eat a vegetable, you’ve got to have in mind that, maybe, they’ve been harvested by children”. These words haven’t been uttered by a furious NGO director, but by actress Eva Longoria, who, for years, has been fighting against child labor in US agriculture.

Today, there are several hundreds of thousands children working in the fields 12 to 14 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week for low wages. They’re maybe as many as 800.000, sometimes as young as 10 years old, and often of hispanic origin.
Behind the incredibly efficient production, the first in the world, an inhuman agriculture is hiding, ready for anything to remain competitive. Including stumping on the most elementary human rights : exposure to pesticides, labour without protective gloves, not enough water or toilets, lack of schooling, and even sometimes sexual abuses. The children working in the fields have four times more risks to die while at work than in other jobs. In 2012, amendements to the existing laws were supposed to improve the conditions, but the reality has still to catch up — thanks to the all powerful agriculture lobbies.

In North Carolina, Saray, 11 and her family are field workers, who travel in the south and harvest fields, with the whole community and the team leader. This report follows their daily life.

eXTReMe Tracker