Entries under ‘pesticides’

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Made in the USA: Child Labor & Tobacco

Child labor is common on tobacco farms in the United States, where children are exposed to nicotine, toxic pesticides, and other dangers. Child tobacco workers often get sick with vomiting, nausea, headaches, and dizziness while working, all symptoms consistent with acute nicotine poisoning. Many work 50 to 60 hours a week without overtime pay, often in extreme heat. They may be exposed to pesticides that are known neurotoxins. Many also use dangerous tools and machinery, lift heavy loads, and climb to perilous heights to hang tobacco for drying. The largest tobacco companies in the world purchase tobacco grown in the US to make popular cigarette brands like Marlboro, Newport, Camel, Pall Mall and others. These companies can’t legally sell cigarettes to children, but they are profiting from child labor. US law also fails these children, by allowing them to work at much younger ages, for longer hours, and under more hazardous conditions than children working in all other sectors. Children as young as 12 can work legally on tobacco farms and at even younger ages on small farms.

Victor, age 15
The Persistence of Hope – An Open Letter to President Obama

Mr. President, Like millions of Americans, I was touched by your comments on election eve and again during your acceptance speech in Chicago, especially when you spoke of the future you envision for our children. You said “All those kids in inner cities, small farm towns — kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers [...]

“The Naked Option” and” The Harvest”- two films of great humanity

This week at Media Voices we draw your attention to an extraordinary documentary, The Naked Option, which tells the inspiring story of a grassroots group of women in the Niger delta who fight the oil giants, Shell and Chevron, using the threat of going naked in public, a serious cultural taboo, to make their voices [...]

U. Romano
Missing the Boat: 60 Minutes Reports on Children in the Fields

Generally, when 60 Minutes reports on a topic, there’s a sense that the best in American television journalism has taken the subject head-on. Not so, with last Sunday’s broadcast, Children in the Fields, a deeply misleading report on child labor in U.S. agriculture.

Dangerous Exposure
Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides

Children of farmworkers bear a disproportionate burden of health effects from pesticide use in our country. Birth defects, neurological complications, respiratory illness, and cancers have all been linked by peer-reviewed research to pesticide exposure in children. This publication reviews research found on the effects of pesticides on these four areas related to children’s health. The information compiled here is a tool for consumers, policy-makers, health and safety trainers, advocates, those who serve farmworkers, and those who benefit daily from their hard work.

© U.R. Romano
Children of the Harvest

This Wednesday, September 15th, select scenes from the upcoming feature-length documentary, The Harvest/La Cosecha, will be screened before Congress on Capitol Hill. This marks the anniversary of Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard’s introduction of the CARE Act legislation in September of 2009. The film shows what many in the United States find difficult to believe: that it [...]

Hellish Work
Hellish Work

Human Rights Watch report on migrant tobacco workers in Kazakhstan

CIF Report

Hundreds of thousands of children work as hired labor in America’s fields and orchards.
These children are among the least protected of all working children. Since 1938, exemptions in
the federal child labor law—the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA—have excluded child agricultural
workers from many of the protections afforded to almost every other working child.
This report produced by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs May 2007 sets out the current state of children working in agriculture in the United States.

Leaving the Fields

This is an excerpt from the documentary feature, STOLEN CHILDHOODS, that deals with child labor in the onion fields of Texas. Most Americans are unaware of the fact that our food is often picked by children who are exposed to the hazards of pesticide poisoning, injury and exhausting work without limit. There is presently no federal law protecting children who work in American agriculture. This is a blatant violation of United Nations Resolution 182- which the U.S. has signed. Look at this segment to understand what it means to have your education disrupted, to leave on short notice to work and help your family make ends meet. Yes, we have child labor in America.

Education’s Promise

One of the videos we’ve posted recently is an excerpt from the feature documentary, STOLEN CHILDHOODS. It focuses on youngsters who work in the coffee fields of Kenya. Here we can see the difference that attending school makes in the life of a child. Click on the picture to take a look at the clip.

Tackling Child Labour in Agriculture

TACKLING CHILD LABOUR IN AGRICULTURE Produced by the International Labour Organization in 2007. Worldwide, agriculture is the sector where by far the largest number of working children can be found – an estimated 70 per cent, of whom 132 million are girls and boys aged 5-14. These children are helping to produce the food and beverages we consume. Their labour is used for crops such as cereals, cocoa, coffee, fruit, sugar, palm oil, rice, tea, tobacco and vegetables. They also work in livestock raising and herding, and in the production of other agricultural materials such as cotton and cottonseed. This film makes the case for involving multinational organizations, organized labour and employers in working to prevent child labour.