Monday, February 13, 2006

Yes There Are Such Things As "Sweat Shops"

For some reason my link didn’t work in the article on WTO.  Here is the pertinent paragraph from the web page I referred to.

Child Labor. Despite a 1991 Supreme Court (India) ruling that child labor in tobacco should be
prohibited, more than 325,000 children labor in the bidi industry in India. Older children (over
ten) roll 1,500 to 2,000 bidis each day, six and a half days a week. For their labor, they may
earn as little as four rupees a day. In comparison, the government-set minimum wage for bidi
rolling is 30.9 rupees per 1000 bidis rolled.15 Bidi rolling is classified by the (India) Child Labor
Prohibition and Regulation Act as hazardous because the working position produces chronic
back pain, interferes with normal growth patterns, and causes physical deformation. Bidi rollers
also suffer lung disease from constantly inhaling tobacco dust. They have high rates of
tuberculosis, asthma, and other lung disorders.16 On November 24, 1999, the U.S. Customs
Service banned the importation of bidis produced by Ganesh Bidi Works in Mangalore, India,
after receiving evidence that the company uses indentured child labor to produce the bidis.17
Under section 1307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, it is illegal to import merchandise into the United
States that is made with indentured labor.18
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, June 12, 2001
15 Human Rights Watch, “The Small Hands of Slavery: Bonded Child Labor in India” 1996. In 1995, the exchange
rupee/dollar exchange rate was approximately 34 rupees to the dollar. Minimum wage for bidi rolling was
approximately 89 cents per 1000 bidis rolled.
16 Human Rights Watch, “The Small Hands of Slavery: Bonded Child Labor in India” 1996.
17 “Attorneys General Call for Crackdown on Bidi Cigarettes” NAAG News Release, 6 December 1999.
18 19 USC Sec. 1307.
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