Giving Compass' Take:

• Although today tobacco picking is done by machine, much of the rest of the production is done by hand. Surprisingly, there has been little attention or focus on the detrimental effects of child labor in this field and the lack of government oversight has meant that they have no reason to look for a problem. 

• How has such a big issue gone relatively unnoticed? Why are there not stricter regulations on child labor laws?

Here's another example of child labor laws. 

Kinston, north carolina—They would wake up at five or six in the morning. They didn’t know where they were going, but they knew how far it was, what time the day had to start. Yesenia Cuello’s mother would fix breakfast, or if the girls were up early they would do it themselves to help her out. Then the preparations for the day would start. Burritos, in the microwave, wrapped in napkins, wrapped in foil. The perfect food for working tobacco: You can eat it with one hand, no need for the break you won’t get anyway. Gloves, the trash bags, hats, water. Then the white van would pull up outside the trailer where they lived, and they would jump in, ready for a long day of work.

When Yesenia and her sisters told their mother they wanted to work with her back in 2005, her mom said no at first. A single mother who had just moved her four kids from California, she was determined to keep her young girls out of the fields. But the girls, who were out of school for the summer, knew money was tight. Around the trailer park, people called them chicas poderosas, “powerful girls”: When they stuck together they could get what they wanted. And so their mother relented, thinking the girls would never be able to survive the day anyway. Yesenia, who was 12 at the time, as well as her two sisters who were 10 and 11, began to work tobacco.

Read the full article on child labor in America by Ariel Ramchandani at The Atlantic