Tag Archive for: Tobacco

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Smoking Kills: Child Labor on Malawi’s Tobacco Farms

Tobacco is Malawi’s top export but at the cost of its children’s health and education.

By Anna Rabin

Landlocked and with approximately 80% of its population living in rural areas, Malawi’s economy is largely structured around its agricultural sector. Agriculture accounts for more than one third of the Malawi’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 90% of its export revenues. Tobacco alone comprises over half of Malawi’s exports.

While large-scale cultivation of tobacco has historically been concentrated in the United States, today approximately 75% of the world’s tobacco is harvested in developing countries. Malawi is now one of the world’s five largest producers, and it appeals to cigarette companies “largely due to low tariffs on unmanufactured tobacco imports, cheap labor and lack of regulations.” Read more

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Kazakhstan: Children Help Harvest Tobacco for Phillip Morris Cigarettes

From the NY Times:


July 13, 2010

Philip Morris Is Said to Benefit From Child Labor

By ANDREW E. KRAMER

MOSCOW — One woman said children as young as 10 working in the fields developed red rashes on their stomachs and necks as they harvested tobacco for use in cigarettes made by Philip Morris.

Another migrant laborer working in the tobacco fields in Kazakhstan said a farmer confiscated her identification papers and withheld pay to force her to continue working despite dismal conditions.

Human Rights Watch, the group best known for documenting governmental abuse and war crimes, plans to release a report on Wednesday showing that child and forced labor is widespread on farms that supply a cigarette factory owned by Philip Morris International in Kazakhstan, in Central Asia.

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