The tobacco industry in Indonesia is inseparable from controversies and problems related to children’s rights. To date, the tobacco industry has not accepted its responsibility for the high number of child labour in tobacco plantations in its supply chain. Child labour in tobacco plantations work by directly handling tobacco plants, applying pesticides to crops, and performing hazardous physical work in extreme heat.
Hazardous working conditions pose both short-term and long- term health risks for children. One of the dangers that haunt child labour in tobacco plantations is Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS), which is a variety of health disorders caused by exposure to nicotine in tobacco leaves both during harvesting and processing of tobacco.
In a cruel twist, the tobacco industry also takes advantage of cigarette sales through advertising, promotions, and sponsorships targeting children as their consumers. Children are often exposed to various aggressive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry even around their school environment, luring them to smoke cigarettes from an early age.