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Human Rights Watch says child labour and rights abuses rife in Zimbabwe tobacco farms
Author: Enock Muchinjo, Al Jazeera News (Zimbabwe), Published on: 9 April 2018
"Zimbabwe tobacco farms: Child labour, abuse rife, HRW says", 8 April 2018
In a report launched in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on Thursday, Human Rights Watch said cases of child labour, worker exploitation and low pay are rife on the farms around the Southern African country. Farm workers, the report noted, face serious health risk, particularly the younger labourers.The report, titled A Bitter Harvest: Child Labour and Human Rights Abuses on Tobacco Farms in Zimbabwe, documents how children work in hazardous conditions, performing tasks that threaten their health and safety or interfere with their education. "Zimbabwe's government needs to take urgent steps to protect tobacco workers," Margaret Wurth, children's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report, said. "Companies sourcing tobacco from Zimbabwe should ensure that they are not buying a crop produced by child workers sacrificing their health and education."...At one of the biggest auction floors on the outskirts of Harare, Al Jazeera witnessed how teenage boys and girls were accompanying their parents, having to sleep at the floor premises after travelling overnight to sell their tobacco. Because they cannot afford to outsource labour, many rural families depend on the produce of tobacco, including underage children, who are forced to miss school or drop out altogether.