GlobeTracker| Six weeks ago the bad news about the cigarette companies was their marketing strategy of targeting women in developing countries, trying to make cigarettes a beauty product in girlie packaging. Today Human Rights Watch, a group known for documenting governmental abuse and war crimes, will release a report showing that chhild and forced labor is widespread on farms supplying cigarettes to Philip Morris International in Kazakhstan.
Although child labor is widespread in agriculture in Central Asia, Human Rights Watch said, the particularly harmful environment on the Kazakh tobacco farms warranted special attention. The report cited conditions it said were dangerous to children and adults alike. Lacking easy access to potable water, for example, laborers had resorted to drinking from irrigation channels contaminated with pesticides, the report said. via NYTimes
The report should not be interpreted as a broader condemnation of Phillip Morris practices across its business. Provided with an advance copy of the report, Phillip Morris says that it has already reduced human rights violations at its Kazakh tobacco farm and will now becomes even more aggressive.