Tainted Harvest

Child Labor and Obstacles to Organizing on Ecuador's Banana Plantations

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Banana workers in Ecuador are the victims of serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report released today. In its investigation, Human Rights Watch found that Ecuadorian children as young as eight work on banana plantations in hazardous conditions, while adult workers fear firing if they try to exercise their right to organize. Ecuador is the world’s largest banana exporter and the source of roughly one quarter of all bananas on the tables of U.S. and European consumers. Banana-exporting corporations such as Ecuadorian-owned Noboa and Favorita, as well as Chiquita, Del Monte, and Dole fail to use their financial influence to insist that their supplier plantations respect workers’ rights, the report found. Dole leads the pack of foreign multinationals in sourcing from Ecuador, obtaining nearly one third of all its bananas from the country.

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