Hazardous Child Labor in El Salvador’s Sugarcane Cultivation
June 10, 2004

Businesses purchasing sugar from El Salvador, including The Coca-Cola Company, are using the product of child labor that is both hazardous and widespread. Harvesting cane requires children to use machetes and other sharp knives to cut sugarcane and strip the leaves off the stalks, work they perform for up to nine hours each day in the hot sun. Nearly every child interviewed by Human Rights Watch for its 139-page report said that he or she had suffered machete gashes on the hands or legs while cutting cane. These risks led one former labor inspector to characterize sugarcane as the most dangerous of all forms of agricultural work.

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ISBN: B1602