Now some of the world's biggest tobacco companies are buying their products from farms which employ child workers. The BBC has found evidence of children working at every stage the tobacco production process in Indonesia,the world's fifth-largest producer. In a report launched today, Human Rights Watch claimed thousands of children are working in hazardous conditions in the industry. Rebecca Henschke travels to the island of Lombok to investigate. Tobacco grows well here in the dry but fertile soil on the island of Lombok. On a visit to the tobacco fields here, we found children working at every stage of
the process. With bare hands, Tina is putting chemical fertilizer on the tobacco plant. This is the first stage of the process. The point which children really get involved is when these leaves trees become big and then the children pick the tobacco leaves and take them into the ovens to dry. I get headaches. I start coughing and become dizzy when the dried tobacco comes out of the oven. It's hard to breathe. I vomit and I get headaches. Rrom the age of 12, she'd been working on farms that supply to multinational tobacco companies，including Philip Morris International. Like Muktar's farm, he says lots of children work for him during the harvest including his 11 year-old daughter. Sometimes she gets sick, sometimes she does not. The smell of the dried tobacco is still strong，but it's a nice smell. It's a very strong smell. When we smell it, we right away feel dizzy. She does not smoke. For people who smoke is nice, but if you do not, it gives you a headache.
The symptoms they report are consistent with acute nicotine poisoning. Given the fact that they were in close proximity with tobacco you know, very well could be cases of acute nicotine poisoning. Philip Morris International knowledge to the BBC that there is child labor in their supply chain. Look, I'm a father of three and I grew up in rural environment. And while I know it is normal that children help on the family farm. The report is pointing out situation that I, as a father would be very concerned. If we are changing the way we procure tobacco, introducing direct contracts that allow us to provide concrete support, monitor the issues. On one of their direct contract farms, we were told children are no longer hired. Tobacco is a dangerous drug. They get sick. It's dangerous. They get dizzy and get headache. But Sinarwulan says she will be working again in the next harvest as she has since she was nine years old. Rebecca Henschke BBC news Lombok.