The average person is inundated with stories concerning ill effects of smoking tobacco, but no one ever warns about ill effects connected with harvesting tobacco. A report by Human Rights Watch blasts the American Philip Morris tobacco company for purchasing tobacco raised on farms in the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan where children as young as ten spend hours each day growing and harvesting the tobacco crop. Officials at Philip Morris expressed shock and amazement that children were involved in harvesting tobacco in the fields of Asia. I assume they thought children were happily attending schools where smiling teachers taught them how to read and write. Parents of these children are migrant workers who are recruited from other impoverished areas in Asia and taken to the killing fields of Kazakhstan, along with their children. Migrants have passports confiscated so they can not escape and are compelled to work long hours, often without pay.
Philip Morris expressed its gratitude to Human Rights Watch for informing them of this terrible situation. Oh well, I guess this means Philip Morris will check other tobacco fields and discover who works in them and whether children are involved.