jueves, 6 de noviembre de 2014 – 03 de Noviembre de 2014 – UK

Child Labor in America's Tobacco Fields

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Children half the smoking age for Pennsylvania are actually laboring in America's tobacco fields, according to new reports. It's hard to tell how many or how old they are. But an Oxfam America/Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) study found one in 10 workers in North Carolina tobacco fields is younger than 18. FLOC's president and founder Baldemar Velasquez says families put their children to work to get by. He says their interviews found kids typically start in their early teens, but sometimes much younger.

"Seven, eight on up," says Velasquez. "We've seen kids this summer that were 13 and 15 and they'd tell us they were working in tobacco seven years, five years." The major tobacco companies all have policies against child labor, but a federal loophole intended for farm families leaves the practice in a legal gray area.

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