Tobacco children in Indonesia

[Culture ★]


(P1) Indonesia is the 5th biggest producer of tobacco. Children younger than 15, must not work in Indonesia. It is illegal.

(P2) However, around 1.5 children work in agriculture. Thousands work on tobacco plantations.

(P3) Many have “green tobacco sickness”. They get weak. They get headaches. They cannot go to school. They help their families make money. They make only one dollar a day.

(P4) Human rights groups are trying to change this. They talk to big Indonesian tobacco companies.



VOCABULARY: illegal, agriculture, plantations, weak, headaches


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do children under 15 years of age work in your country? If so, tell about it.
  3. Have you ever been to Indonesia? If so, which city or cities? If no, do you want to travel there?
  4. Do you think children under 15 should be forced to work? Why or why not?


  1. It is legal for children under 15 to work in Indonesia. (T or F)
  2. How many children are employed in agriculture?
  3. Children become weak and have stomachaches. (T or F)
  4. The children earn $2 per day. (T or F)


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • 5th biggest producer (P1)
  • One dollar a day (P3)
  • Human right groups (P4)

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Image Source: By Erwin Sentausa, CC-BY-SA 4.0,

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