The tobacco industries’ human rights abuses must not be ignored. Child labor is apparent in many tobacco growing and manufacturing countries.
In Malawi in Africa, 78% of children between 10-14 years old work either full-time or part-time with their parents on the tobacco farms.
In one State of Brazil 520,000 (five hundred and twenty thousand) children under 18 work in the tobacco fields. 170,000 of these children are under the age of 14.
In the Sinaloa Valleys of Mexico, 200,000 indigenous migrant workers harvest tobacco each year. 50,000 of them are children between the ages of 5-14. The young children cut and bundle the tobacco leaves putting themselves at greater risk of absorbing pesticides and nicotine from the tobacco leaves through their skin, and these toxins lead to several diseases that have led to death. Bonded labor is also akin to child labor.
In India, children are forced to roll beedis (a type of handmade cigarette) typically with terrible working conditions in order to pay off debt accrued by their families (usually because of medical expenses, funeral costs, or inherited debt from the death of parent). The children are robbed of a childhood, abused and contract diseases from working with tobacco.
According to the article “Understanding Bonded Child Labour in Asia:” “Children involved in beedi-rolling (a kind of cigarette) suffer from high rates of tuberculosis and other lung diseases.” Not only is the tobacco industry employing children in the production of tobacco, but the industry is also abusing and killing children through the abhorrent working conditions they experience and the exposure to deadly chemicals.
The tobacco industry is taking advantage of and killing children worldwide; it cannot be ignore by our government.
We, the undersigned, are appalled by human rights abuses the tobacco industry has incurred by utilizing child labor across the world.
Children are not only made to work ruining their chances at having a childhood, but they are also suspect to beatings, despicable working conditions, and diseases acquired from working with tobacco and pesticides.
The US Federal Government should not allow the tobacco industry to take advantage of children, and the government needs to hold the industry accountable for what it does overseas, especially concerning child labor.
The End Child Labor Involved in the Manufacturing of Tobacco Products petition to US Federal Government was written by Reality Check and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.