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Child labour: the tobacco industry's smoking gun

Child labour: the tobacco industry's smoking gun
At the height of the tobacco harvest season, Malawi's lush, flowing fields are filled with young children picking the big green-yellow leaves. Some can count their age on one hand. One of them is five-year-old Olofala, who works every day with his parents in rural Kasungu, one of Malawi's key tobacco growing districts. When asked if he will go to school next year, he shrugs his shoulders. One thing is clear to Olofala already: work comes first, education second. Such complaints are not uncommon. Since the handling of the leaves is done largely without protective clothing, workers absorb up to 54 milligrams of dissolved nicotine daily through their skin, equal to the amount of 50 cigarettes, according to 2005 research by Prof Robert McKnight, of the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. At the consumer end of the chain, smokers are constantly reminded of the associated health risks. Until the 1980s, much of the world's tobacco was grown in the US. Related:  Child Labor

Child-labor rules could limit what kids are allowed to do on farms GRAND RIDGE, Ill. – Tossing hay into cattle pens is the first chore Austin Walter remembers doing on his parents' farm. When he was 9, he got his first lesson in operating a tractor — in first gear only, his dad, Darren, says, "so I could go catch him." Austin, who is now 14, tends heifers, makes sure the barbed-wire fence around the pasture is intact and helps clean equipment and care for calves on his grandfather and great-uncle's bigger farm a couple of miles down the road. "This is what I want to do," says Austin, an A student and football player who has won many awards for showing livestock at fairs. "If you grow up in the farm atmosphere and you're safely trained and you enjoy it, I think you should be allowed to." PHOTOS: The Walter family farm in Grand Ridge, Ill. Proposed federal regulations could alter Austin's plans to work part time for pay on his relatives' farm. The new rules would: The legal age for children to be employed on a farm is 16 and would not change.

News In-depth: Child Labor Voices From the Field: Mexico By Karen Fanning Each day, Audelia heads to work on a tobacco farm in Santiago Ixcuintla Nayarit, Mexico. Her job? To watch over her 14-month-old baby brother while her poverty-stricken parents labor in the fields to try to make ends meet. The Mexican preschooler is among hundreds of children who leave their homes in the surrounding mountains each January to work in tobacco fields alongside their parents. Many children, like Audelia, care for younger siblings. Often, families work from sunrise until sunset for little more than $1 an hour. "Families build little shacks with no walls next to where they work," says Viky Sosa of the International Labor Rights Fund (ILF), an organization that advocates for the rights of workers worldwide. Still, during the days, it's hard to escape the sweltering heat. Laboring in the fields not only jeopardizes children's health, it also costs them their education. Sadly, Audelia may never get the chance to learn.

Farm And Ranch Kids Get Opportunity To Work | BEEF Daily Growing up, my younger sisters and I were Dad’s chore help. He taught us how to feed cattle, drive the four-wheeler and tractor, stack bales, pitch manure, fix fence, chop weeds and treat sick calves. While kids in town may have had to do chores like wash dishes and make their bed, we were busy working outside, learning from a young age that the cattle relied on us to care for them. Although I didn’t always appreciate having to work on the ranch, looking back now, I know the chores helped shape me into who I am today. More than that, without us to help with the chores, Dad would have had to hire employees to help. If the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) had its way, a lot of kids wouldn’t be allowed to help on the farm or ranch. But, just because DOL pulled back the proposed rule doesn’t mean agriculture felt confident about future regulations that might impose on family traditions. What do you think of the legislation?

Pitting Child Safety Against the Family Farm LAST month, a proposal by the United States Department of Labor to prevent children under age 16 from working in dangerous farm jobs ignited a firestorm in conservative media outlets. The new rules would have restricted having young workers handle pesticide, operate heavy machinery, cut timber and perform other agricultural tasks identified as hazardous to children by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Conservatives quickly went on the attack. Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, argued that “if the federal government can regulate the kind of relationship between parents and their children on their own family’s farm, there is almost nothing off-limits in which we see the federal government intruding in a way of life.” Fox News posted a story entitled, “Team Obama Wants Children Banned from Doing Farm Chores.” This is not the first time reform of agricultural child labor laws has been beaten back by a supposed threat to the family farm.

Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find In "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields. (More information and air times on CNN International.) By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN Daloa, Ivory Coast (CNN) - Chocolate’s billion-dollar industry starts with workers like Abdul. He squats with a gang of a dozen harvesters on an Ivory Coast farm. Abdul holds the yellow cocoa pod lengthwise and gives it two quick cracks, snapping it open to reveal milky white cocoa beans. Abdul is 10 years old, a three-year veteran of the job. He has never tasted chocolate. During the course of an investigation for CNN’s Freedom Project initiative - an investigation that went deep into the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast - a team of CNN journalists found that child labor, trafficking and slavery are rife in an industry that produces some of the world’s best-known brands. It was not supposed to be this way. More about the Harkin-Engel Protocol It didn’t.

Child Labor in the Middle East - Modern Day Slavery Your are absolutely going to be stunned. We are making a huge amount of children work for long hours under terrible condition for little payment or no payment. It's hard to believe but those beautiful carpets that we have at home, are made by poor children in Western countries; such as, Pakistan and India. Hundreds of children are forced to work in carpet industy for taking care of their parents or some of them were kidnapped and thrown into this horrific place. HOW are they caught??? These children are kidnaped to the industry after their mother's agreement mostly and when they are asked where their children have gone, they would answer "Their children have left with labor contracters who promised good jobs in the Persian Gulf. WHAT's going on??? The caught children would be locked in a room and given no food until they agree to weave on the looms. Emancipation Proclamation: By the most powerful president of India: Takaka Inadia Here is the map for India and Pakistan.

Cotton Campaign: Stop Forced and Child Labour in Uzbekistan! Child Labor in U.S. History - The Child Labor Education Project Breaker Boys Hughestown Borough Pa. Coal Co. Pittston, Pa. Photo: Lewis Hine Forms of child labor, including indentured servitude and child slavery, have existed throughout American history. Spinning Room Cornell Mill Fall River, Mass. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the numbers of child laborers in the U.S. peaked. Child Labor Reform and the U.S. 1832 New England unions condemn child labor The New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics and Other Workingmen resolve that “Children should not be allowed to labor in the factories from morning till night, without any time for healthy recreation and mental culture,” for it “endangers their . . . well-being and health” Women’s Trade Union League of New York 1836 Early trade unions propose state minimum age laws Union members at the National Trades’ Union Convention make the first formal, public proposal recommending that states establish minimum ages for factory work 1836 First state child labor law 1883 New York unions win state reform

Slavery in the Chocolate Industry | Food Empowerment Project Chocolate is a product of the cacao bean, which grows primarily in the tropical climates of Western Africa, Asia, and Latin America.[1] The cacao bean is more commonly referred to as cocoa, so that is the term that will be used throughout this article. Western African countries, mostly Ghana and the Ivory Coast,[2] supply more than 70% of the world’s cocoa.[1] The cocoa they grow and harvest is sold to a majority of chocolate companies, including the largest in the world.[3] In recent years, a handful of organizations and journalists have exposed the widespread use of child labor, and in some cases slavery, on cocoa farms in Western Africa.[4][5] Since then, the industry has become increasingly secretive, making it difficult for reporters to not only access farms where human rights violations still occur, but to then disseminate this information to the public. The Worst Forms of Child Labor Slavery Is Slave-free Chocolate Possible? Are the Labels on Chocolate Meaningful? Recommendations