Zimbabwe: Cry For Action On Child Labor

The global watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has urged Zimbabwe to take urgent steps to stem child labor and other rights abuses on the countrys tobacco farms, according to a story in The Business Daily.

In a report entitled, Bitter Harvest: Child Labor and Human Rights Abuses on Tobacco Farms in Zimbabwe, the HRW revealed that children as young as 11 were working on tobacco farms, often in hazardous conditions, to earn school fees or supplement family incomes.

Workers were said to be exposed to nicotine and toxic pesticides, and to suffer symptoms consistent with poisoning, such as nausea and vomiting.

Zimbabwes government needs to take urgent steps to protect tobacco workers, said Margaret Wurth, co-author of the report.

The Business Day reported seasonal workers on some large-scale farms as saying they were pushed to work excessive hours without overtime and forced to go weeks or months without pay.

HRW called on the government to investigate and monitor child labor and human rights violations on tobacco farms.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to prioritize agriculture as he looks to revive Zimbabwes moribund economy.  Enditem