Child labor in global tobacco production: A human rights approach to an enduring dilemma

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Abstract

Tobacco production is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Unfortunately, the cultivation of tobacco engages the labor of children throughout the world in extremely dangerous environments, which has both immediate and long-term consequences for children and society. This paper explores the human rights concerns associated with child labor in tobacco production by highlighting three countries—the United States, Kazakhstan, and Malawi—and examines the impact that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, and the ILO’s Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention have on child labor practices in tobacco production. It also proposes general actions to address the human rights concerns related to child labor practices in tobacco production, as well as specific actions for selected countries. A human rights-based approach to reducing child labor in agriculture could create meaningful changes that improve lives and opportunities for health, education, and economic stability among children and families across the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
JournalHealth and Human Rights
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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