That is exactly what is happening, only it's NOT foreign.
It's happening right here in the United States.
In Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia U.S. tobacco farms are employing children as young as 12 years old to work on tobacco farms. And all the big tobacco manufacturers and merchants are benefiting from buying the product. Alliance One, Altria (Philip Morris), British American Tobacco, China National Tobacco, Japan Tobacco Group, Lorillard, Philip Morris International, Reynolds American, Universal Corporation.
In an 8-minute documentary by Human Rights Watch (video below) called: US: Child Workers in Danger on Tobacco Farms, the harsh conditions and workers on these tobacco farms are shown.
With good intentions the "made in the U.S.A." movement spreading throughout the country is partially focused on stopping child labor. Instead of buying from other countries, we look for products made in the U.S.A. with a focus on supporting American jobs, the American economy, and saying no to foreign child labor. Unfortunately, exploiting children isn't exclusive to other countries. It's happening right here in the U.S.A.
So what can we do? How can we help?
Watch the documentary. Share the story. Talk with family and friends about the importance of kids being in school. Keep working to reduce tobacco use throughout the U.S.A. and the world. If the demand for tobacco goes away, there will be no need for the supply. Which in turn means there will be no need for cheap labor to produce it (ie. kids).
For more information on the topic take a look at the Human Rights Watch article,
US: Child Workers in Danger on Tobacco Farms | Human Rights Watch. (2014, May 14).