A human rights group has released a condemning report against Philip Morris International detailing worker exploitation and child labor on farms in Kazakhstan where it buys its tobacco.
The report by Human Rights Watch, entitled “Hellish Work”, reports that “employers confiscated migrant workers’ passports, failed to provide them with written contracts, did not pay regular wages, cheated them of earnings, and required them to work excessively long hours.”
The tobacco farms also frequently used child labor, with children as young as 10-years-old working in the fields.
The group has already approached Philip Morris International, which was spun off from Richmond-based Altria group in 2008, with its findings. The company, one of the world’s largest cigarette manufacturers, pledged it would take steps this year to work with vendors to prevent and remedy the abuse.
You can read the report here.
This is no surprise. Lump them in with the tonnes of clothing and electronics manufacturers around the world that do the same thing (Until they’re caught.). The truly sad part is that this comes as no surprise.