Children working in tobacco

| May 16, 2016

Some tobacco companies have been accused of turning a blind eye to the exploitation of child labor on Indonesian plantations that serve as their leaf suppliers, according to an Aljazeera Television website story.

The tobacco industry was said to employ about six million Indonesians, a figure that included many young people who faced hazardous conditions while working in the fields.

The story quoted ‘researchers’ as saying that while tobacco companies insisted their cigarettes were legal products, they appeared not to check whether their suppliers were complying with the law.

Human-rights groups were said to have long noted the dangers of working on tobacco farms, especially for young people. Exposure to nicotine meant the chemical could enter a worker’s body through skin pores and thereby cause adverse effects.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, reporting from Indonesia’s East Java province, discovered children as young as 10 working on tobacco plantations despite the country having 15 as the minimum age limit for such a job.

“I do feel tired sometimes and my body hurts,” Ebing, a child laborer in the province, told Al Jazeera. “My hands are always black because I fold the leaves and turn them around to dry them.”

Category: Breaking News

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