In the News

Tobacco farmers remain poor

The Southern Times

Working for a private corporation based in the heart of Malawi's commercial city of Blantyre, Bakaya smokes only Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes ' also a favourite of the company executives he drives around.

He has to shell out nearly US$1,40 for a packet of 10 of these cigarettes ' more than a day's wages for most people in Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries.

While Bakaya can afford to pay for his expensive smoke, Malawian farmers growing the tobacco that ends up in these cigarettes are finding it hard to survive.

Kathy Lee Scandal, Deadly Fire Highlight ´Schmatta´ Story: TV


Note from SweatFree Communities: Joe Raico, mentioned in this review and seen in the photo at the Bloomberg link below, attended SFC´s 2006 international conference in New York City. He joined former Bangladeshi garment worker Kalpona Akter on a visit to the memorial for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers in Manhattan´s Lower East Side.

New York’s Garment District is being buried in a cheap Chinese suit.

India has good laws restricting child labour — but they are not enforced

Times Online UK


In the child labour debate, one apologistic argument often rears its ugly head. It posits that many poor people rely on their children to work to support the family and that it would be naive to think this situation can be reversed quickly.

Which is preferable, proponents of this line of logic ask: a family able to feed itself, or a starving child in school? It is the question that passes through countless Western heads when they see small children hawking magazines at Indian traffic stops or serving chai at tea stalls.

Uzbek cotton picked by children enjoys demand


The fifth international cotton fair involving 300 companies from 33 countries started in Tashkent on 14 October. These participants do not care about many Western organisations that have called for the boycott of Uzbek cotton because it is produced involving forced child labour.

A conference that preceded the fair noted that quality and the stable and timely supplies of Uzbek cotton to world markets were the main merits of Uzbek cotton.

Uzbekistan’s three main foreign trade companies – Uzmarkazimpex, Uzprommashimpex and Uzinterimpex – represent local cotton sellers.

Dark and Bitter

American Prospect

Food workers increasingly exist in a legal limbo with no protections for wages, benefits, job security, or life and limb. Why are employers like Hershey off the hook?