Human Rights Watch revealed another ugly truth behind tobacco and its consequences with its report “Tobacco’s Hidden Children: Hazardous Child Labor in US Tobacco Farming,” which documents the hazardous conditions and toxic environments of U.S. child tobacco workers. Young adolescents – not yet old enough to buy tobacco – are working in tobacco fields and suffer from the effects of nicotine and are exposed to the toxic chemicals from pesticides. Without laws or regulations to protect them, these innocent children could suffer a lifetime of tobacco-related disease and death, simply because they are working to help support their families.
This HRW video tells the heartbreaking stories of the children, as young as age 9, who work in tobacco farming. It brings a new perspective to the harsh realities of tobacco’s impact on the poor, minority communities and youth. Legacy applauds HRW for shining a much-needed spotlight on the atrocious conditions under which child farm workers toil while U.S. tobacco manufacturers reap billions in profits.
The nation has made historic progress protecting public health from tobacco in recent years. As we hope to make tobacco use a thing of the past, we hope this effort by HRW will signal regulators to take the necessary steps to end child tobacco farm labor in tobacco.
Read the Legacy statement on this issue or for more resources or to get involved, visit http://mm.hrw.org/content/made-usa-child-labor-tobacco.