Target: Retno L.P. Marsudi, Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
Goal: Bring an end to the deadly exploitation of child workers in Indonesia’s tobacco fields.
In Indonesia, there are thousands of children working in the country’s tobacco fields, being exposed to nicotine and other toxic chemicals. Indonesia is one of the nations that leads the world in tobacco production. However, it also is one of the nations that leads the world in child labor. Over 1.5 million children below the age of 18 work in the country’s agricultural industry, of which tobacco growth is a part.
Tobacco picking is a very dangerous career for both adults and children. Those who spend their days in the tobacco fields not only are exposed to extreme heat and other elements, they are also susceptible to nicotine poisoning. This illness causes everything from headaches and vomiting to brain development issues in children. In addition, the children working with tobacco are more likely to smoke it. Currently, nearly 4 million children under 14 become smokers in Indonesia annually.
Children should not be exposed to such deadly elements. They should not be exploited by the world’s big tobacco companies. These tobacco companies already exploit millions by preying on their addictions. Now they are preying on children as a source of cheap labor. Sign the petition to demand that Indonesia enforce tougher child labor laws and hold tobacco companies that use children responsible for their horrid actions.
Dear Minister Marsudi,
Over 1 million children currently work in Indonesia’s agricultural sector. Many of those children pick tobacco for a living. Tobacco picking is dangerous for adults, and deadly for children. Children who pick tobacco are more prone to nicotine poisoning and nicotine addiction. Big tobacco companies, that make millions off the deadly addiction of smoking, are also making millions off the backs of child laborers.
Children deserve the chance to be children. However, picking tobacco robs them of this experience. They grow ill and dependent on a drug that will rob them of so much more throughout the course of their lives. I ask that you work to enforce tougher labor laws in your country and also hold the many tobacco companies that exploit your nation’s children responsible for their actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Erwin Sentausa