May 14, 2014

Tobacco’s Hidden Children

Hazardous Child Labor in United States Tobacco Farming

Health and Safety Risks in Tobacco Farming
Excessively Long Hours, Wage Problems
Impacts on Education
International Standards on Child Labor
Child Labor and US Law
Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Tobacco Leaf Companies
Recognition of Children’s Vulnerability and the Need for Decisive Action
I. Tobacco Farming in the United States
Tobacco Production
Structure of the Tobacco Economy
Changes in US Policy and Impacts on Farms and Labor
Tobacco Types, Farming, and Curing
II. Child Tobacco Workers in the United States
Child Tobacco Workers
Why Children Work
III. Health and Safety
Sickness while Working
Skin Conditions, Respiratory Illness, and Eye and Mouth Irritation
Exposure to Pesticides
Extreme Heat
Work with Dangerous Tools, Machinery, and at Heights
Repetitive Motions and Lifting Heavy Loads
Lack of Personal Protective Equipment
Lack of Health Education and Safety Training
Inadequate Access to Water, Sanitation, and Shade
IV. Hours, Wages, and Education
Excessive Working Hours and Lack of Sufficient Breaks
V. International Legal Standards
ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health
Corporate Responsibility
VI. Obligations of the US Government to  Protect Child Farmworkers
Protection for Child Farmworkers under US Law
Enforcement of Existing Laws
VII. Responsibilities of Businesses Purchasing  Tobacco in the United States
Response to Human Rights Watch
Companies’ Child Labor Policies
Tobacco Leaf Merchant Companies
Industry-Wide Multilateral Initiatives
VIII. Recommendations
To the US Congress
To the President of the United States
To the US Senate
To the US Department of Labor
To the US Environmental Protection Agency
To All Tobacco-Producing US States
To Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Tobacco Leaf Merchant Companies
To Agricultural Employers
To the International Labour Organization Office