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Report: Child abuse in the fields of North Carolina

Tobacco fieldInstead of thinking up new and creative ways to downsize and privatize government, shred the social safety net and just generally make life harder for the 99%, here’s the kind of issue that North Carolina lawmakers ought to be addressing forcefully during the 2014 legislative session:

A new report is out that once again highlights the dangerous working conditions for children in the North Carolina tobacco industry.

As WRAL reports here, the good people at Human Rights Watch released a report today documenting the hazards. The authors of “Tobacco’s Hidden Children: Hazardous Child Labor in United States Tobacco Farming” interviewed child tobacco workers in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, and documents problems with wages, dangerous working conditions, and adverse impacts on education. Human Rights Watch calls on tobacco companies to end the practice of child labor in tobacco.

The North Carolina Farmworker Advocacy Network has called upon the General Assembly to pass legislation to make child labor laws in North Carolina apply to farmworkers, with an exception for children working on their own family’s farm.

Sadly and not surprisingly, any hope for action from the McCrory administration and/or the current leadership in the North Carolina of the North Carolina General Assembly on this issue is almost certainly a matter of wishful thinking.

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