background preloader

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. His sister, Ethel, 12, is only in year three. 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. The tobacco giants disagree.

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.

Rural kids, parents angry about Labor Dept. rule banning farm chores Update, April 26, 7:55 p.m.: Citing public outrage, the Department of Labor has withdrawn the controversial rulemaking proposal described in this article. A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves. The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

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. Apple’s own data reveal 120,000 supply-chain employees worked excessive hours in November To its credit, Apple is now posting monthly information tracking the extent to which employees in its supply chain are working less than its standard of 60 hours per week. The introductory language to this information states: “Ending the industry practice of excessive overtime is a top priority for Apple in 2012.” The accompanying graph itself, however, contains data from Jan. 2012 through Nov. 2012 and suggests otherwise.

Child Labor in China - Modern Day Slavery The children are usually between the age of 5 and 17. They have to work in extreme conditions for long hours. They have to work under risky circumstances. Their families are poor so they are willing to work to earn some money. 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. Farm And Ranch Kids Get Opportunity To Work 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.

Slavery in the Chocolate Industry 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.

Frontend Ratings A company's risk levels indicate the prevalence of child and forced labor in the particular production process and countries in which it is operating. A company can still receive an A if it is operating in HIGH RISK situations. A company operating in HIGH RISK areas must take more precautions to ensure against abuses than one operating in LOW RISK areas; thus, Free2Work grades such a company on a more rigorous scale.

Related:  vinnysirois