Parliamentary question - H-0626/2000Parliamentary question

Inhuman exploitation and flagrant violation of the rights of children in the USA


for Question Time at the part-session in September 2000
pursuant to Rule 43 of the Rules of Procedure
by Ioannis Theonas
to the Council

A Human Rights Watch report entitled 'Fingers to the Bone: United States Failure to Protect Child Farmworkers' reveals that hundreds of thousands of children, primarily of Latin American origin, are labouring on the land in the USA under 'dangerous and gruelling conditions'. These children, aged between 13 and 16, work an average 12-14 hour day on farms, are exposed to particularly toxic pesticides which cause headaches, rashes, nausea and, in the long term, cancers and brain damage, and are forced to carry very heavy and often dangerous equipment. The report also stresses that these children are paid far less than the minimum wage, with some earning no more than 2 dollars an hour.


Does the Council condemn such conditions, which are a gross violation of the child protection charter, which illustrate the USA's hypocrisy when it invokes violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to justify not granting preferential trade arrangements and supporting unfair competition to promote its farm produce? Will the Council put this matter to the US authorities in the context of its dialogue with the USA?



Tabled: 06.07.2000