Saturday, May 17, 2014

Child labor on tobacco farms in Southeast exposed in shocking CNN report

CNN has released a shocking report about children working on tobacco farms, mostly in North Carolina, but also Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, link here.The kids are getting nicotine poisoning through their skin, even resulting in vomiting and other symptoms, according to the news story.

The wages the kids earn are turned over the parents.  According to the article, US labor law does not regulate agricultural employment the way  it does industrial work, and very young minors can work with parents’ consent.  Most of the child laborers are Hispanic or black immigrants from the Caribbean or Mexico. It’s clear that illegal immigration could be exploited easily.   

Update: May 19, 2014

The Washington Post has weighed in on this problem with an editorial, here. (And, no, there are no tobacco plants in the pictures here.) 

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