249515 Immigrant and migrant children at risk in agriculture – a framework for improving health and safety

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Amy K. Liebman, MA, MPA , Migrant Clinicians Network, Quantico, MD
Jennie McLaurin, MD, MPH , Migrant Clinicians Network, Austin, TX
Background/Objectives: Agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the US. In addition to the inherent hazards involved with agricultural work, immigrant and migrant youth working in agriculture encounter further risks including lack of supervision, weak regulatory protections, limited or no training, inexperience, poor safety precautions, lack of health insurance, language barriers, extreme poverty, undocumented immigration status, and geographical and cultural isolation.. These factors exacerbate their risks for injury, illness, abuse, violence and chronic sequelae. This presentation is part of the Protecting Children in Agriculture session and will focus on agricultural safety and health concerns of children who are at risk due to factors of culture, ethnicity, migration, and immigration status.

Methods: 1) describe research on vulnerable populations in agriculture to offer an overview of characteristics of ethnic and cultural groups at risk; 2) present a description of what is known about childhood injuries and interventions among these populations and identify strengths and weaknesses of research and practices targeting these populations; 3) review major gaps in knowledge regarding these populations and effective interventions; 4) provide recommendations and priorities for research, policy and programs in improving agricultural safety and health in migrant and immigrant youth.

Results/Conclusions: The recommendation and priorities outlined in this discussion are part of a greater national dialogue among a multidisciplinary team of experts including researchers, practitioners, advocates and policy makers. An updated national agenda, generated with input from diverse stakeholders, that will prioritize future interventions, policies, funding, and research to improve childhood agricultural safety and health.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the risks associated with agricultural work by young immigrant and migrant workers

Keywords: Migrant Workers, Youth at Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have devoted my entire professional career to improving the environmental and occupational health of disenfranchised populations through community outreach, educational and training programs and policy initiatives. At Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN), I am part of the executive management team and serve as the Director of Environmental and Occupational Health. With MCN, I have established a nationally recognized initiative to integrate occupational and environmental medicine into primary care. This effort aims to reduce risks associated with environmental and occupational hazards by improving clinical knowledge and practice as well as community outreach and education. It also involves extensive partnerships with government agencies, health centers and community organizations. I have been a national leader in bringing the culturally appropriate train-the-trainer model with promotores de salud (lay health workers) to environmental health efforts to educate vulnerable communities about hazards and ways to reduce risks. Together with MCN, I received the EPA Regional Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award for our projects that help farmworker families minimize their exposures to environmental hazards. Prior to my current position, I directed several programs on both sides of the US-Mexico Border. I served for six years on the federal advisory committee to the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs and was actively involved in ATSDR’s National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures. All of my efforts enable me to offer a strong voice to improve policies and programs that address the health and safety of migrant workers and their families.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.