Tobacco child-labor not a special case

| September 19, 2016

The issue of child labor was raised during the most recent human rights dialogue involving the EU and Indonesia, according to Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy.

At a meeting in Brussels on June 28, the issue of business and human rights, including child labour, had been raised, Mogherini said in reply to a written question.

‘It was agreed to exchange experiences and co-operate on developing a National Action Plan on the implementation of the UN principles on business and human rights.

‘In this context the EU will refer to the problem of children working in the tobacco sector.’

Mogherini had been responding to a question by the Romanian MEP Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, who had said that in tobacco fields in Indonesia, child workers were being exposed to serious health and safety risks.

‘The dangers include acute nicotine poisoning from contact with tobacco plants and leaves, and exposure to toxic pesticides and other chemicals,’ he said.

‘Inadequate regulations and poor enforcement of the law, particularly in the small-scale farming sector, leave children at risk.

‘Companies should improve their human rights due diligence procedures to identify and end hazardous child labour on tobacco farms.’

Frunzulică asked whether Mogherini intended to hold talks with the Indonesian authorities in order prohibit children from performing any tasks that involved direct contact with tobacco.

Category: Breaking News

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