|Our boss picked us up at home at 6 in the morning and then we spent all day picking and breaking tobacco until dusk."|
Tobacco production is usually found on family farms and closely linked to tobacco companies. Although the companies prohibit the use of child labour, in reality the whole family participates in this activity to make production economically viable. Sobradinho has about 14,000 inhabitants and its economy relies heavily on agriculture, particularly tobacco production.
|It is much better to be here in PETI than to have to work in the tobacco fields."|
To tackle child labour, the town began to implement the federal government’s Child Labour Eradication Programme (PETI)1 programme , which links cash benefits with school attendance and after-school programmes. This resulted in a reduction of child labour. For example, Paulo, along with his brother and cousins, participated in workshops on various subjects, including IT, music, guitar, self-esteem, arts and sports. Paulo says his favourite was the football workshop: "It is much better to be here in PETI than to have to work in the tobacco fields. Working in the tobacco fields, I earned R$20 per day, but this is more fun, I have many friends and learn many things. I love to play football, it's my favourite workshop."
1 See: www.socialsecurityextension.org/gimi/gess/ShowCompendiumProgramme.do?pid=26.