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Smokers Addiction Enslave Children

April 20, 2002 · 

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The tobacco industry, growers and trade unions have jointly launched a joint initiative to address the problem of child labour in tobacco growing.

Supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Eliminate Child Labour in Tobacco (ECLT) Foundation was officially launched in Geneva.

British American Tobacco, is one of the three founding members of ECLT Foundation, the other two being the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Association (IUF), and the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA).

The ECLT Foundation’s objective is to contribute to the elimination of the use of child labour in the tobacco growing sector in order to provide children with an upbringing that gives them the best chance in all aspects of life.

Many tobacco farms are family-run. It, therefore, may be possible that children take part in routine chores as part of family life for the development of craft skills. “This must however not extend to potentially hazardous tasks using machinery and agro-chemicals and must not impede proper educational development including school attendance”, says the foundation.

The ECLT Foundation will support and fund local as well as community based projects that combat child labour. It will concentrate its efforts in tobacco growing countries of Eastern and Southern Africa in a first phase and will work with local partners, such as NGOs, governments and communities.

In parallel, the ECLT Foundation will fund independent research on child labour in tobacco growing in order to improve its overall response.

Another objective for the ECLT Foundation is to establish and share best practice and lessons learnt in the field of combating child labour. Ron Oswald, IUF’s General Secretary and President of the ECLT Foundation Board stresses that “acting in a common cause, the ECLT Foundation brings together in a unique alliance organisations representing tobacco wage workers, small and large scale tobacco farmers as well as the corporate sector.

“We are committed to support local initiatives, share best practice and work with all relevant stakeholders to eliminate child labour in tobacco growing”.(From the files of The Nation – Pakistan)

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