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Cigarette makers aren't going to enhance their battered public image with this latest bit of news: Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has been using captive child labor in Central Asia to harvest tobacco.
The company, which manufactures the popular Marlboro brand, used child labor and forced labor in contractor-run plantations in Kazakhstan, according to a shocking report by the Human Rights Watch advocacy organization.
Children as young as 10 toiled in the tobacco fields, the report found, and were exposed to dangerous pesticides and hazardous levels of nicotine while missing months of school. The report documented 72 instances of children working in the fields in 2009.
In six cases, employers held their workers in forced or bonded labor by confiscating their passports and birth certificates. They paid the workers one lump sum at the end of the nine-month tobacco season. That payment system plunged workers into debt penury, forcing them to borrow money from the Morris contractors until the end of the growing season. The report also found that the workers were forced to do other farm work and household labor for no pay.
Originally posted by darkelf
I buy cigarettes made by Native Americans from tobacco grown in America. There are no additives, and no child labor. There are also no taxes and I pay 1/4 the price I would for Marlboros.