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U. Roberto (Robin) Romano Papers

Identifier: 2008-0006

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains photographs, negatives, newspaper and magazine clippings, notes, administrative records, publications, pamphlets, correspondence, optical and magnetic disks, moving images, and posters relating to Romano’s activities in human rights. Entries titled “research” contain clippings related to the subject indicated.

A number of projects are represented in the collection including Stolen Childhoods, The Dark Side of Chocolate, The Harvest, The Hunger Project, Children in the Crossfire, In the Best Interests of Children, and An Indifferent World. Subjects include child labor, migrant workers, fair trade, human trafficking, and other human rights issues. The collection covers many areas of the world including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Thailand.

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository.


  • 1972-2020
  • Majority of material found within 1996 - 2006


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


U. Roberto Romano (Robin) was a photographer, filmmaker and human rights educator. The son of the artist and Works Progress Administration (WPA) muralist Umberto Romano, Robin Romano was born in New York where he attended the Lycee Francais, Allen Stevenson School and Horace Mann High School. Mr. Romano graduated from Amherst College as an Interdisciplinary Scholar in 1980.

Romano began his career in documentaries as a producer and cameraman for Les Productions de Sagittaire in Montreal, where he worked on several series including 5 Defis and L'Oeil de L'Aigle.

His film projects include Death of a Slave Boy, a two-hour special shot in Pakistan for European broadcast, Globalization and Human Rights hosted by Charlayne Hunter Gault for PBS, Stolen Childhoods, the first theatrically released feature documentary on global child labor, The Dark Side of Chocolate, a feature documentary on trafficking in Western Africa, and The Harvest/La Cosecha, a feature documentary on child migrant laborers in the United States for which he won the Shine Global Award. He was also a contributor to the NPR and BBC specials on slavery in the Ivory Coast and has contributed to films as diverse as In Debt We Trust and Darfur Now.

As a still photograph, his exhibition "Stolen Childhoods: the Global Plague of Child Labor," was on view at the William Benton Museum of Fine Art at the University of Connecticut in 2006. He has been the photographer for Rugmark, a foundation working to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia. Additionally, Romano created the mural and poster for the Council on Foreign Relations announcing their universal education campaign. Other organizations that have used his work include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Free the Slaves, The International Labor Organization, Stop the Traffik, The Hunger Project, International Labor Rights Forum, The Farm Labor Organizing Committee and Antislavery International. His work has appeared in such publications as The Ford Foundation Quarterly, The Stanford Review, Scholastic, and UConn Magazine, and has been seen on billboards and posters around the world. Romano has appeared as a guest on Nightline with Ted Koppel as well as Newsnight with Aaron Brown.

As an advocate for and an authority on children's and human rights, Romano has appeared at many forums, schools and universities. He gave the Frank Porter Graham Lecture at the Johnson Center for Academic Excellence, University of North Carolina, and the Gene and Georgia Mittelman Distinguished Lecture in the Arts at the University of Connecticut. In 2007 he was invited to give the plenary speech at the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs annual conference in Coeur d'Alene. He has also lectured at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Oak Institute for International Human Rights at Colby College.

Romano has won several awards for his documentaries from around the world. The film The Harvest/La Cosecha recieved the Audience Award - FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DI CINEMA, Trento, Italy 2012; Special Achievement Award, ALMA/NCLR – 2011; Outstanding Filmmaker Award, San Antonio Film Festival 2011; California Endowment, 2009; and the Conflict and Resolution Award, Hamptons Film Festival. 2009. The Dark Side of Chocolate received Grand Prize Winner - FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DI CINEMA, Trento, Italy 2011 and was nominated Finalist, Cinema for Peace, Berlin Film Festival 2012. As an educator, Romano taught graduate level courses at both New York University and Columbia University in the Columbia University Seminar on Globalization, Labor and Popular Struggles.

Mr. Romano passed away in 2013.


46 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Research files and photography by noted photographer and documentary filmmaker U. Roberto (Robin) Romano, who has documented child labor in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, and Pakistan, migrant farm labor in the United States and Mexico, and the cocoa industry in the Ivory Coast.


The collection is arranged into five series:

Series I: Child Labor, arranged alphabetically by subject; includes In the Best Interests of Children and Stolen Childhoods.

Series II: The Dark Side of Choclolate, arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series III: Migrant Labor, arranged alphabetically by subject; includes The Harvest.

Series IV: Human Rights, arranged alphabetically by subject; includes Children in the Crossfire, An Indifferent World, and The Hunger Project.

Series V: Administrative, arranged alphabetically by subject.

Provenance and Acquisition

Over two hundred digital images and thirty-four framed photographic prints were donated by Mr. Romano in 2008/2009. Additional materials were transferred in 2011-2012.

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

Digital reproductions of child labor images are available electronically at:

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to human rights issues and the work of photojournalists. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Materials

The following materials have been separated from the collection and catalogued: Child Labour programmes Dodd A10506 Elimination of Child Labor Dodd A10505 Floods despite dams Dodd C11029 Child Labor in India Dodd A10522 Children in the Fields Dodd DVD 57 Stolen Childhoods Dodd VHS Scream: Stop Child Labor: Protection of Children Dodd A6068 Forced to Plough: Bonded Labour in Nepal's Agricultural Economy Dodd A10523 The Global Transformation Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debates Dodd Dragons in Distress: Asia's Miracle Economies in Crisis Dodd A13777 Media Democracy in Action's Censored 2006: The Top 25 Censored Stories Dodd Media Democracy in Action's Censored 2008: The Top 25 Censored Stores of 2006-2007 Dodd Enslaved People in 1990s: A Report by Anti-Slavery International Dodd The Child and the State in India Dodd A10517 Slavery in Brazil: A Link in the Chain of Modernization Dodd A7274 A Human Rights Message Dodd A10521 Children of Native America Today Dodd C10836 Ser Vecinos, con las Sabias Palabras de Fred Rogers Dodd A10516 Hearings on the East Timor Question 1998 Dodd Child Labour in Nepal Dodd A10515 Globalization Culture and Education in the New Millenium Dodd A10527 Child Labour in India Dodd A10522 Childern in War: A Guide to the Provision of Services: A Study for UNICEF Dodd C10838 Out of the Shadows Dodd State of the World's Children 2001

U. Roberto (Robin) Romano Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2012 June
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US