Dems urge Labor Department to prevent tobacco farms from using child workers

The Hill
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) on Wednesday urged the Labor Department to implement rules so that young children cannot work on tobacco farms.

In a letter to the Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Cicilline and Cartwright called on the department to issue a regulation to address the issue.

"We urge you to issue a proposed rule dealing solely with child labor on tobacco farms which would prevent children from working in the cultivation or curing of tobacco," the lawmakers wrote.

Earlier this year, Cicilline introduced a bill that would prevent anyone younger than 18 years old from working on tobacco farms, citing concerns about health risks. His bill followed a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report documenting the consequences for children who are exposed to tobacco.

"Nearly three-quarters of the children interviewed by HRW reported suffering from nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, difficulty breathing, and irritation of the eye and mouth. These symptoms are consistent with acute nicotine poisoning," the lawmakers wrote.

The two House Democrats argued it was especially important to prevent tobacco farms from exploiting child labor.

"Children working in tobacco are among the nation's most vulnerable and we must do more to protect them," they wrote.

JOIN THE TEAM

DNC Twitter

  • 11 hours 17 min ago Today, on , we celebrate those who lost their lives for being true to themselves. Democrats… https://t.co/E8DHDkllr2
  • 15 hours 6 min ago I miss having a president who denounced state-sanctioned murders of journalists.
  • 15 hours 11 min ago President Trump’s comments on the Khashoggi murder are a disgrace to the office he holds. He is making us less safe… https://t.co/7wGAOM4DjW
  • 1 day 10 hours ago RT : swears in the Middletown Town Council thank you for your public service to our community https://t.co/eZvp9vAZiJ
  • 1 day 12 hours ago This year, I’m thankful to the millions of Americans who voted in the midterm elections two weeks ago. What are you thankful for?
  • 1 day 12 hours ago Governor, you thought Africa was a country. Maybe don’t criticize others on civics? https://t.co/FOowEV9Jkb