DURHAM, North Carolina: Moves to ensure that children as young as 12 years old will be banned from picking tobacco in the United States have gathered pace with Human Rights Watch highlighting the issue and growers here also keen to ensure kids are not working in the fields.
Ana Yesenia Flores has worked on tobacco farms since she was about 12 years old, at times seven days a week to help support her mum after her divorce. Now 17, she hopes to be the first one in the family to make it to college, Channel NewsAsia reports.
"The tobacco plants are like 6 feet tall and you have kids like me ... trying to reach those plants,” Ms Flores said. “You get very tired from your shoulders and your back and sometimes you get chemicals sprayed on you. I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to happen."
But under US law, if there's parental permission, then children as young as 12 can work on farms picking tobacco so long as it's out of school hours.
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