Saturday, May 18, 2024

Report Finds Latino Children Laboring in U.S. Tobacco Farms








According to a new report from the Human Rights Watch, children as young as seven years of age are being exposed to high levels of nicotine and toxic pesticides, and working between 50 to 60 hours a week in tobacco farms throughout the United States.

“The children we interviewed were mostly the sons and daughters of Hispanic immigrants, though they themselves were frequently US citizens,” states the report. 

The majority of the children interviewed for the report were seasonal employees and purposely migrated to work at these tobacco farms with their families. Three quarters of these workers reported symptoms that can be traced to acute nicotine poisoning.

It is legal, in the agricultural industry, for children as young as 12 years of age to work for unlimited hours, and even though there is a law that limits children under 16 from working in dangerous farm work, this same law doesn’t include working with tobacco.

“Based on our findings – Human Rights Watch believes that no child under age 18 should be permitted to perform work in which they come into direct contact with tobacco in any form,” stated the report.

Hopefully with these new findings, regulations and laws will be put in place to not only protect tobacco farm workers, but especially Latino children from this gruesome labor.

NBC News Latino