Statement on the passing of filmmaker, photographer, child labor advocate U. Roberto Romano – National Consumers League

November 12, 2013

Contact: NCL Communications, Ben Klein, (202) 835-3323,

Washington, DC–The National Consumers League (NCL) is deeply saddened to learn of the death of U. Roberto Romano—Robin—to his many friends. Robin passed away on November 1st, after a brief illness and a longer battle against Lyme disease. Robin was a distinguished filmmaker and photographer who captured images of child labor that were used by advocacy groups around the world, including the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), which is co-chaired by NCL.

Robin’s films child labor films include “Stolen Childhoods” (co-directed by fellow CLC member Len Morris), a film that highlighted the worst forms of child labor around the world, “The Darker Side of Chocolate” and “Shady Chocolate” (both co-directed by Miki Mistrati), which unmasked child slavery and child trafficking in West Africa’s cocoa farms, and “The Harvest/La Cosecha,” a deeply emotional film revealing the plight of child farmworkers in the United States. His impressive body of film work, coupled with the thousands of child labor photographs he took, provided the child labor advocacy community with great tools to raise awareness about child labor within the U.S. and abroad.

“Robin Romano cannot be replaced. His contributions to child labor advocacy have made a profound difference in the Child Labor Coalition’s work; he also worked collaboratively with several CLC members—groups like GoodWeave, the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, and the International Labor Rights Forum—fighting to protect children from the worst forms of child labor around the world,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL and CLC co-chair.

“I had the pleasure of helping Robin on a film shoot and have worked with him for over a decade,” said CLC Coordinator Reid Maki. “He was indefatigable—a whirlwind of activity, shooting video and stills with several cameras around his neck, determined to capture perfect images. Robin was also an active and passionate participant in our CLC strategy sessions aimed at reducing the worst forms of child labor. His wonderful sense of humor combined with focused outrage to made him a formidable warrior in the fight to protect children. It is hard to imagine how we will move forward without him.”


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

About the Child Labor Coalition

The Child Labor Coalition is comprised of 30 organizations, representing consumers, labor unions, educators, human rights and labor rights groups, child advocacy groups, and religious groups. It was established in 1989, and is co-chaired by the National Consumers League and the American Federation of Teachers. Its mission is to protect working youth and to promote legislation, programs, and initiatives to end child labor exploitation in the United States and abroad. For more information, please call CLC Coordinator Reid Maki at (202) 207-2820 [].