Child Labor On US Tobacco Farms

  • In a major embarrassment to the US govt, a reported by Human Rights Watch has highlighted the hazardous effects of working in tobacco plantations on kids as 7 yrs old.
  • Many of the kids reported vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness, all of which are symptoms of acute nicotine poisoning.
  • This type of poisoning also called as Green Tobacco Sickness occurs when nicotine is absorbed through the skins of the people handling tobacco plants.
  • The child labourers also reported overtime work without pay, tough working environment (often in hot climates), no sufficient breaks and no adequate protective gear.
  • They were largely Hispanic kids working to support the family, entering into labour when they are 11 or 12 yrs old.
  • This may be attributed to the absence of sufficient policies under U. S. Labour laws to protect children. Children working in agriculture are allowed longer work hours (about 12hrs), in hazardous conditions, with no cap on the minimum age to work as labourers.
  • In other sectors, laborers need to be a minimum of 18yrs old to do work that is deemed hazardous.
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