Cotton pest management in Egypt was substantially transformed by the introduction of integrated pest management (IPM) practices in 1991. Aimed at reducing reliance on pesticides, IPM incorporates, among other measures, regular monitoring of infestation levels, defining action thresholds for pesticide use based on infestation levels and the costs of treatment, minimizing risks to human health and the environment, and evaluating the outcome of treatment.40 Its development and implementation in Egypt is the responsibility of the Central Administration for Pest Control (CAPC), a division of the agriculture ministry that has had authority over cotton pest management since the 1950s.
Human Rights Watch interviewed ten children who had recently taken part in egg mass collection, foremen who had supervised them, and agricultural engineers assigned to the cooperative societies. We also discussed the children's work with a few farmers and landowners in each community. Although the interviews represented a very limited sample and were conducted after the resumption of the school year, the children's accounts largely confirmed independent findings made by an Egyptian NGO, the Land Center for Human Rights. The Land Center's findings, published in a July 1999 report, were based on extensive research conducted in villages in Gharbiya and Daqahliya governorates. Center researchers closely observed the children's working conditions, and conducted interviews with working children, their families, and agricultural engineers. The report noted that children engaged in leafworm control operations worked from 6 a.m. to sunset daily, with two hour mid-day breaks; were routinely beaten by foremen; worked under conditions of extreme heat; and were denied medical treatment by the cooperatives when they incurred heat-related illnesses.45 Human Rights Watch also confirmed accounts of the ill-treatment of children by foremen and children's exposure to pesticide spraying with development specialists in Egypt who frequently visit cotton-farming areas.
Leafworm Egg Mass Collection
Between 50 and 80 percent of the deposited egg masses are removed manually by child workers, according to the agriculture ministry.48 Egg mass collection is carried out by children working in teams of fifteen to thirty, each of which is supervised by a foreman (known locally as a khouli).49 The teams are assigned areas of fifteen to thirty acres each, which are further subdivided into three plots. Each team rotates between the three plots, covering one during the course of a day.50 The children tear off the infected portions of the leaves, identified by white or yellow blotches, and store them in sacks. Twice daily, before the children's lunch break and at the end of the day, the damaged leaves are deposited in a pit and burned. An older boy is normally chosen to burn the leaves, under the foreman's supervision.51
The commencement date for egg mass collection in each governorate is determined by the agriculture ministry, following the submission of reports on infestation levels by agricultural extension agents.52 During 1999, egg mass collection in El Samra began on May 1 and continued into early July, while in Zikrin, the period of activity extended from May 25 to July 7. The number of children retained by the cooperatives varied over the course of the season. Mohammad Madani, the agricultural engineer in El Samra, said that a ratio of one worker per acre is usually sufficient during the first two weeks of the egg mass collection season, but thereafter two to three workers are needed to cover one acre.53 In Zikrin, about 70 percent of the children hired work continuously through the egg mass collection period.54
Labor recruitment efforts in either setting are directed almost exclusively at children. Hisham Dafallah, the agricultural engineer in Zikrin, offered a commonly cited justification for this practice: the relatively short height-50 to 75 centimeters (20 to 30 inches)-of cotton plants during the months of May and June, which allegedly make children better suited to remove damaged leaves. He also identified two other factors. "Generally, the child is more easygoing and obedient," he told Human Rights Watch, "and more economical."56
Children working for the cooperative in Zikrin receive a flat rate of E£3 (US$0.81) per day. Wages in El Samra vary slightly over the course of the season, but average E£3 daily for children who work throughout the egg mass collection period.57 "During the first stage, the cotton stem is short and we have to bend over steeply, so we earn E£3.50 (US$0.95) a day," said ten-year-old Nabil Abdel Sattar. "After a month, it grows longer, so we get E£2.50 (US$0.68)."58 Although adults are not ordinarily hired for egg mass collection, wages for cotton harvesting provide an indication of the income differential between adult and child laborers. During the 1997 harvest, adult men in Daqahliya governorate earned E£6 (US$1.63) per day, adult women E£5 (US$1.36), and children E£4 (US$1.08).59
Children report to the cooperative in their respective villages to collect their wages (once every ten days in Zikrin and once every fifteen days in El Samra). Most said that they turned over the entire amount to their parents, occasionally receiving a small allowance for their own consumption.60 One ten-year-old girl in El Samra said that her brother, who worked as a foreman, collected her payment for her and that she herself neither saw the money she had earned nor knew how much she had been paid.61 In all other cases, however, children told us that they were paid directly by the cooperative administration.
Egypt's Child Law sets the minimum age for seasonal agricultural employment at twelve years, but cooperatives typically hire children well below this threshold. The ten children we interviewed began working for the cooperatives before they had reached the age of twelve, with an average starting age of 8.6 years. The children's ages at the time of our interviews ranged from eight to thirteen years.62 Zikrin's agricultural engineer told us that children who were hired by the local cooperative ranged in age from nine to fourteen years-a figure that he revised a moment later to ten to fifteen years, although neither figure was in compliance with the requirements of the Child Law.63
Cooperatives recruit children through printed and oral announcements in village mosques and cooperative buildings, as well as through loudspeaker broadcasts.64 Several of the children whom Human Rights Watch interviewed joined egg mass collection teams in response to appeals from older siblings who were already working or from foremen whom they knew. In two cases, children told us that they worked at their parents' request. "My father told me that I'm working to get school clothes and a bag," explained Said Isa Ahmad, an eight-year-old boy in Zikrin.65
A large majority of the children whom we interviewed came from the villages' poorer families, suggesting a correlation between their families' economic circumstances and their own willingness to accept seasonal work. We asked six children about their families' sources of income. Of the five whose families relied wholly or partly on farming, three cultivated less than one acre of land each, while the family of another cultivated 1.5 acres. Only one child indicated that he belonged to a relatively prosperous rural family, which farmed four acres. The responses of two other children suggested that their families had very limited income; one child was the daughter of a shoe-polisher, while the father of another was deceased. "Over the last four years, there has been a surplus of children available," said Dafallah, the agricultural engineer in Zikrin. Egg mass collection, he explained, "takes place during a period in which there is no school, and [at a time when] there is growing economic distress."66 The disproportionate employment by cooperatives of the poorest rural children means that the latter are especially vulnerable to the ill-treatment, long hours, and health hazards associated with leafworm control operations.
Until about ten years ago, cooperatives frequently used coercion to secure a workforce for egg mass collection.67 They were guided by a 1965 agriculture ministry decree that required cotton farmers to provide at least one child to the cooperative for paid egg mass collection and imposed fines on farmers for noncompliance. 68 As El Samra's agricultural engineer, Madani, recounted,
According to a farmer in Zikrin, cooperatives also employed more onerous means of ensuring compliance. "The police used to take children [to the cooperative] by force," he said.70
Human Rights Watch was unable to identify recent cases of forcible, albeit remunerated child labor. However, a continued fear of prosecution under the 1965 decree may nevertheless compel some farmers to permit their children to work for the cooperatives. The farmer in Zikrin cited above told us that he owned four acres of land, and therefore did not need the income that his son might earn from egg mass collection. But when asked why his son nevertheless took part in the work, he replied that the law required one of his sons to do so, and that if he refused permission, a lawsuit could be filed against him.71
Because egg mass collection takes place during the summer months, it ordinarily poses less of a conflict with education than other activities involving child agricultural labor, such as harvesting. During 1999, however, the examinations that conclude the school year were delayed by one month. Faced with a shortage of available labor, Zikrin's cooperative directed its recruitment efforts toward children who were not attending school.72 But in doing so, cooperative authorities undermined the government's obligation, under Egypt's education laws of 1981 and 1988, to provide compulsory pre-secondary education.73
We encountered one case in which a child was recruited over the objections of his mother, a single parent who believed that her son's time could have been devoted more profitably to study. According to Nabil Abdel Sattar, who was eight years old at the time of his recruitment:
The foreman in Zikrin said at the time of his hire he was "told to treat the children well."79 However, physical abuse by foremen is routine, with children typically gauging the leniency of a foreman by the severity and frequency of the beatings that he administers. According to Nabil Abdel Sattar,
That perspective was shared by Fuad Yunus, a ten-year old-boy who had worked under two different foremen. "One of them I hate; the other one I like," he said. "The one I hate used to beat and kick me whenever I missed a leaf. The other one beats and kicks me lightly."81
In cases of particularly severe maltreatment, children may either quit work entirely-if their families do not rely on the additional income that they contribute-or seek employment under the supervision of a different foreman. The father of one child in Zikrin told us that his son quit after just ten days in 1999 because of the repeated beatings he experienced.82 Zahra Osman, a nine-year-old girl in El Samra, described a steady process of attrition from her work group. "The last group I was in started with twenty-two [children]," she said, "but you know, children don't like to be hit, so they turn up in another foreman's group. Our group ended up with twelve."83
The fields are inspected daily by the cooperative's pest control staff and periodically by the agricultural engineer,84 but there appears to be no systematic monitoring of the foremen's treatment of children in their care. The visits are instead limited to assessing the infestation levels in each field, with foremen held accountable for the performance of their respective teams. "An agricultural engineer supervises my work, and would punish me if there was something wrong with the work of the child," said a foreman in El Samra.85 "There are some supervisors who are higher than foremen," said a child in the same village. "They inspect our work, and yell at the foremen."86
Physical exertion in a hot environment presents the risk of incurring heat-related illnesses.87 These include heat exhaustion, a condition in which excessive fluid loss leads to fatigue, low blood pressure, and circulatory collapse, and heatstroke, a condition in which dehydration leads to the failure of the body's thermoregulatory system. Heatstroke is potentially fatal, and can also result in permanent brain damage.88
The Child Law, as noted earlier, requires employers to provide children with items of personal protection and instruction in their use, as well as pure water. However, the cooperative in El Samra did not appear to provide children with protective clothing or a vessel to store drinking water. Children whom we interviewed in the village told us that they bought caps at the beginning of the egg mass collection season, and pooled their resources to purchase a bucket. An older girl in the group, chosen by the foreman, would periodically fill the bucket with water from the nearest pump on the field.89
Requests for water appeared to be granted at the discretion of the foreman, with conditions varying widely between different work teams. "One of the good things about our foreman was that he brought us water when we asked," said Zahra Osman.90 Some children in Zikrin told us that they were only permitted to drink water during a fifteen-minute break, while others said that they were allowed to drink whenever they wished.91
Exposure to Pesticides
Several children whom we interviewed in Zikrin stated that cotton fields in the village were sprayed with pesticides while they were engaged in egg mass collection.95 A local farmer confirmed their accounts, saying that children working on a field would be moved to an adjacent area before spraying, but would return immediately thereafter.96 Hisham Dafallah, the local agricultural engineer for cotton, refused to discuss pesticide use in Zikrin with Human Rights Watch, except to say that it was conducted after the period of manual leafworm control work was over and in accordance with a "legally coded process for the application of pesticides."97
The measures taken to protect child agricultural workers from pesticide exposure may differ significantly between villages; children in El Samra told us that they were kept away from cotton fields where spraying was underway, and would return to those fields either the following day or the day after.98 Degradation periods vary according to the pesticide used, however, and intervals of twenty-four to forty-eight hours after spraying are in some cases insufficient to protect agricultural workers from contact with residue.99
Aside from egg mass collection, there are a number of other activities related to cotton pest management in which children may be exposed to toxic chemicals. At present, the most commonly used types of pesticide applicators in Egypt are a motorized, backpack-mounted sprayer and a hand-pumped drip applicator that offers an inexpensive and efficient method of applying pesticides.100 However, children are sometimes involved in an older delivery method: a motorized pump, whose hose is equipped with a wide-aperture nozzle that saturates the cotton crop with pesticides. The motorized pump is enjoying a modest resurgence in popularity, according to a Cairo-based development specialist who frequently visits rural areas. Children between the ages of fourteen and sixteen at times assist in the pump's use; roughly half a dozen children may be hired to carry its 200 to 300 meter (219 to 328 yard) hose, becoming heavily contaminated with pesticides in the process. 101 Children are also reportedly involved in preparing pesticide applicators for use, and cleaning them following application.102
Spraying for leafworm infestations is carried out both by the cooperatives' pest control staff and by individual farmers on land that they cultivate. If scouting reveals that the infestation level has passed a predetermined threshold, the agricultural engineer may direct the pest control staff to apply pesticides that the agriculture ministry has registered for use against leafworms. The ministry recommended five pesticides for use in leafworm control operations during 1995.103 Two of these are categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Class Ib, or "highly hazardous" pesticides, and the remaining three as Class II, or "moderately hazardous," based on the oral and dermal toxicity of their active ingredients to laboratory rats.104
Viewed against the backdrop of cotton pesticides that were used in Egypt between 1971 and 1992, the agriculture ministry's list of recommended pesticides for 1995 reflects significant strides: the use of methyl parathion and other Class Ia, or "extremely hazardous," pesticides were no longer sanctioned, and there had been a significant reduction in the number of approved Class Ib pesticides. Pesticide usage itself declined by over 40 percent between 1991 and 1996, a development that is attributable to the introduction of IPM and more efficient delivery methods during the same period.107 At the time of Human Rights Watch's visit, however, there were indications that some of these achievements were being undermined or reversed.
Having received little instruction in IPM strategies, cotton farmers compensated for what they saw as a shortfall in pesticide application with additional spraying of their own. Between 1991 and 1996, the amount spent by cotton farmers on pesticides rose from E£26 (US$7.05) per acre to E£178 (US$48.24) per acre;108 state subsidies of at least forty percent for pesticides cushioned the financial blow, ironically undermining the effectiveness of the agriculture ministry's own IPM program. Subsidies were reduced by forty percent in 1999, according to an Egyptian toxicologist who has campaigned for curbs on pesticide use.109 However, agricultural cooperatives-until late 1997, the sole distribution points for pesticides-continue to sell pesticides at rates far below market value. A farmer in Zikrin cited the example of Dursban, a Dow Chemical Company trade name for the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos, which he said was available through the local cooperative for just over half the price that private traders charged.110 Pesticides that farmers are not permitted to apply against cotton, including pyrethroids and some Class Ib pesticides, are readily available through private traders.111
The agriculture ministry has recently begun to address the previous shortcomings in its implementation of IPM by establishing learning groups to educate cotton farmers about IPM. The learning groups, according to a source who is familiar their operation, have been in place since the 1998-1999 season and currently embrace 40,000 farmers. Plans are underway to expand them over a period of three to four years, so as to eventually cover all cotton farmers.
The availability of Class Ib pesticides to farmers, coupled with inadequate supervision and unnecessary or excessive usage, poses serious health risks to agricultural workers of any age. There is also evidence that certain Class II pesticides are particularly hazardous to children. In addition to absorbing and retaining greater concentrations of environmental toxins than adults, children may exhibit greater sensitivity to specific toxic chemicals at given concentrations.112 An illustrative example is the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which Egypt's agriculture ministry has recommended to combat both leafworm and bollworm infestations.113 Categorized by the World Health Organization as a Class II, or "moderately hazardous" pesticide, chlorpyrifos-like other organophosphates-inhibits the activity of cholinesterase, an enzyme necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system.114 On June 8, 2000, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a revised risk assessment of chlorpyrifos that found "greater sensitivity of young compared to adult rats to the neurotoxic effects of chlorpyrifos and for the susceptibility of the developing brain to chlorpyrifos." With respect to cholinesterase inhibition, the study found that the difference in response between young and adult rats to a relatively low dose of chlorpyrifos was two to five-fold, and after repeated dosing, up to nine-fold.115 On the basis of its findings, the EPA banned most non-agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos, restricted its agricultural uses, and ordered the implementation of revised restricted-entry intervals for all agricultural crops.116
Although organophosphates have been subjected to greater scrutiny for their impact on children's health, other families of pesticides may also act disparately on children. According to a recent study, certain pyrethroids "exert hormonal activity that may alter early neurological and reproductive development."117
40 Bio-Integral Resource Center, Berkeley, California, "Integrated Pest Management," <www.keyed.com/birc/IPM.htm> (19 January 2001); Ohio Pest Management and Survey Program, Field Crops Pest Management Circular #1: "Integrated Pest Management," (Columbus: Ohio State University, 1993), <www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ohioline/icm-fact/fc-01.html> (19 January 2001).
41 Abd el Latif Isa, First Undersecretary, Ministry of Agriculture, "Pesticide Regulations in Egypt to Avoid Hazards to the Environment and Human Health," Journal of Environmental Science and Health, vol. 15, no. 6, 1980, p. 619.
42 Land Center for Human Rights, "Child Workers in the Cotton Worm Manual Control Operations: A Journey of Hardship," (Cairo: Land Center for Human Rights, July 1999), chapter 2. The Land Center based its figures on an observed average of 1.5 to two child workers per acre of cotton cultivated.
43 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
44 Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad Madani, Agricultural Engineer, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
45 See generally Land Center for Human Rights, "Child Workers..."
46 Isa, "Pesticide Regulations in Egypt", p. 618. The other major cotton pest in Egypt is the pink bollworm, pectinophora gossypiella.
47 See Center for Environmental and Regulatory Information Systems (CERIS), Department of Entomology, Purdue University, "Fact Sheet for Exotic Pest Detection Survey Recommendations," July 1993, <http://ceris.purdue.edu/napis/pests/misc/fexotic.txt> (19 January 2001) and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, "African Cotton Leafworm," <http://www.inra.fr/Internet/Produits/HYPPZ/RAVAGEUR/6spolit.htm> (19 January 2001). Mohammad Madani, an agricultural engineer in El Samra, reported a slightly lower figure of six leafworm generations per crop cycle. Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad Madani, Agricultural Engineer, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
48 Isa, "Pesticide Regulations in Egypt," p. 619.
49 Human Rights Watch interviews with child workers and foremen, Zikrin and El Samra, October 20-25, 1999.
50 Land Center for Human Rights, "Child Workers...," chapter 2.
51 Human Rights Watch interviews with child workers and farmers, Zikrin and El Samra, October 20-25, 1999. None of the children whom we asked could recall a case in which the burning of leaves had resulted in an injury.
52 Land Center for Human Rights, "Child Workers...," chapter 2.
53 Human Rights Watch interviews with agricultural engineers Mohammad Madani, El Samra, October 25, 1999, and Hisham Dafallah, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
54 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
55 Human Rights Watch interview with an official in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Cairo, October 19, 1999.
56 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
57 Human Rights Watch interviews with agricultural engineers and children in El Samra and Zikrin, October 20-25, 1999.
58 Human Rights Watch interview with Nabil Abdel Sattar, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
59 Study conducted for the Government of Egypt, 1997, on file at Human Rights Watch.
60 Human Rights Watch interviews with agricultural engineers and child workers, El Samra and Zikrin, October 20-25, 1999.
61 Human Rights Watch interview with Maryam Abdel Aziz, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
62 Human Rights Watch interviews with child workers, Zikrin and El Samra, October 20-25, 1999. Citing his own field research, a staff member of the Land Center for Human Rights told us that about 70 percent of the children engaged in egg mass collection were six to eight years old. Human Rights Watch interview with Adel William, Researcher, Land Center for Human Rights, Egypt, October 20, 1999.
63 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
64 Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad Madani, Agricultural Engineer, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
65 Human Rights Watch interview with Said Isa Ahmad, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
66 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
67 Human Rights Watch interviews with agricultural engineers and farmers in El Samra and Zikrin, October 20-25, 1999.
68 Land Center for Human Rights, "Child Workers...," chapter 2.
69 Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad Madani, Agricultural Engineer, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
70 Human Rights Watch interview with Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
71 Human Rights Watch interview with Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
72 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999. Foremen also attempt to address localized labor shortages by recruiting children from other villages. Human Rights Watch interview with Shawqi Hatem, Foreman, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
73 There are two phases of compulsory education in Egypt: primary, covering ages six to eleven, and preparatory, covering ages eleven to fourteen. Enrollment rates in rural Lower Egypt, according to an independent survey, are about 50 percent for children aged six, and at or near 90 percent for children aged to seven to eleven. A significant attrition in enrollment begins with noncompulsory secondary school, and less than 60 percent of children are enrolled at the age of seventeen. Enrollment levels for girls are about 10 percentage points lower than for boys at all ages, and school entry for girls is particularly sensitive to economic fluctuations. Barbara Ibrahim et al, Transitions to Adulthood: A National Survey of Egyptian Adolescents, (New York: The Population Council, 1999), pp. 61-66 and Fig. 5.4.
74 Human Rights Watch interview with Nabil Abdel Sattar, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
75 Child Law, article 66.
77 Human Rights Watch interviews with agricultural engineers and child workers, El Samra and Zikrin, October 20-25, 1999. The agricultural engineer in El Samra told us that the second break extended from 1 to 3 p.m., as did one child whom we interviewed. However, two other children who had worked for El Samra's cooperative-including one who had worked throughout the egg mass collection periods during the preceding three seasons-maintained that their lunch break was only one hour in duration. An exception, they said, was made on Friday, when they were allowed a three-hour break for a meal and prayers.
78 Human Rights Watch interview with Shawqi Hatem, Foreman, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
80 Human Rights Watch interview with Nabil Abdel Sattar, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
81 Human Rights Watch interview with Fuad Yunus, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
82 Human Rights Watch interview with Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
83 Human Rights Watch interview with Zahra Osman, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
84 Human Rights Watch interviews with child workers, foremen, and agricultural engineers in Zikrin and El Samra, October 20-25, 1999.
85 Human Rights Watch interview with a foreman, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
86 Human Rights Watch interview with Nabil Abdel Sattar, El Samra, October 25, 1999. The word that he used for "supervisor" was muroor, literally "those who pass by."
87 An Egyptian NGO, the Land Center for Human Rights, has documented two cases in which heat exposure necessitated medical care for child leafworm control workers. In both cases, the cost of the children's treatment was sustained by their families. Land Center for Human Rights, "Child Workers...," chapter 4, citing the cases of Marilyn Sabry Ibrahem, seven, and Mohssen El-Sayed Deyab, eight.
88 Mark H. Beers and Robert Berkow (eds.), The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Seventeenth Edition, (Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck & Co., 1999), section 20, chapter 279.
89 Human Rights Watch interview with Karim Abu Amir and Nabil Abdel Sattar, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
90 Human Rights Watch interview with Zahra Osman, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
91 Human Rights Watch interview with child workers, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
92 Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences, "Agrichemical Fact Sheet #7: Toxicity and Potential Health Effects of Pesticides," <http://www.pested.psu.edu/fact7.html> (19 January 2001), and Natural Resources Defense Council , "Trouble on the Farm: Growing Up with Pesticides in Agricultural Communities," (New York: Natural Resources Defense Council, 1998), chapter 1.
93 Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences, "Agrichemical Fact Sheet #7"
94 See M.A. Belsey, "Toxic Disasters with Crude Chemicals: An Approach to Identifying Risks in Infants and Children," in P.L. Chambers (ed.), Attitudes to Toxicology in the European Economic Community (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 1987), p. 50, and Lawrence R. Berger, Mark Belsey, and P.M. Shah, "Medical Aspects of Child Labor in Developing Countries (Editorial)," American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 19., nos. 697-699 (1991), p. 698.
95 Human Rights Watch interviews with children in Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
96 Human Rights Watch interview with Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
97 Human Rights Watch interview with Hisham Dafallah, Agricultural Engineer, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
98 Human Rights Watch interviews with Karim Abu Amir and Zahra Osman, El Samra, October 25, 1999. Adel William, who has conducted field research on manual leafworm control operations in the same governorate for the Land Center for Human Rights, said that children returned to the fields on the third day after spraying. Human Rights Watch interview with Adel William, Land Center for Human Rights, October 25, 1999.
99 An example is the carbamate methomyl, which was approved for application against leafworms and bollworms by the agriculture ministry in 1995, and which remains in use, according to a farmer in Zikrin interviewed by Human Rights Watch. Classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Class Ib or "highly hazardous" pesticide, methomyl is subject under United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines to a reentry interval of three days when applied to cotton. Central Administration for Pest Control, List of Recommended Cotton Insecticides 1995; EPA, "Pesticide Fact Sheet 4/89: Methomyl (Lannate, Nudrin)"; Human Rights Watch interview with Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
100 Human Rights Watch interviews with a development specialist, Cairo, October 19, 1999; Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999; and Mohammad Madani, Agricultural Engineer, El Samra, October 25, 1999.
101 Human Rights Watch interview with a development specialist, Cairo, October 19, 1999.
102 Human Rights Watch interview with Mahmoud Mortada, Alternative Development Studies Center, Cairo, October 10, 1999.
103 Central Administration for Pest Control, List of Recommended Cotton Insecticides 1995.
104 The WHO makes a distinction between the toxicity of the technical compound and that of the commercial product's formulation, with the critical variables including the physical state of the formulation and the concentration of the active ingredient(s). When assessed on the basis of formulation, only one of the five pesticides on the 1995 list is grouped in Class Ib, while two are grouped in Class II, and the remainder in Class III, or "slightly hazardous" pesticides. World Health Organization, The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard and Guidelines to Classification 1998-99 (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1998), WHO/PCS/98.21/ Rev.1, pp. 2, 30.
105 Central Administration for Pest Control, List of Recommended Cotton Insecticides 1995.
106 Human Rights Watch correspondence with a development specialist, Cairo, February 2000.
107 Study conducted for the Government of Egypt, 1998, on file at Human Rights Watch.
109 Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. Mahmoud Amr, Chairman, Industrial Medicine and Occupational Diseases Department, Cairo University, and Director, National Egyptian Center for Toxicological Research, Cairo, October 18, 1999.
110 Human Rights Watch interview with Abbas Hamdi, Zikrin, October 20, 1999.
111 Human Rights Watch correspondence with a development specialist, Cairo, February 2000.
112 M.A. Belsey, "Toxic Disasters with Crude Chemicals" p. 50.
113 Central Administration for Pest Control, List of Recommended Cotton Insecticides 1995.
114 Deborah C. Smegal, Risk Assessor, "Human Health Risk Assessment: Chlorpyrifos," Health Effects Division (7509C), Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, June 8, 2000, p.2.
115 Smegal, "Human Health Risk Assessment: Chlorpyrifos," p. 131.
116 Smegal, "Human Health Risk Assessment: Chlorpyrifos," Background.
117 Philip J. Landrigan et al., "Pesticides and Inner-City Children: Exposures, Risks, and Prevention (Abstract)" Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 107, supp. 3, June 1999, <http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/1999/suppl-3/431-437landrigan/abstract.html> (19 January 2001).