TakeAPart: British American Tobacco in Zimbabwe
Alleged Violations of Tobacco Control and Other Laws
Tobacco companies aggressively block, weaken, and undermine policies designed to protect public health and reduce tobacco use, and at times they may work outside of countries’ laws.
Call for a government investigation into British American Tobacco’s actions today!
How Tobacco companies violate laws
Tobacco companies aggressively block, weaken, and undermine policies designed to protect public health and reduce tobacco use, and at times they may work outside of countries’ laws. In multiple cases tobacco companies have been found guilty of violating laws to ensure they are as profitable as possible.
In Zimbabwe, children as young as 11 were found to work on Zimbabwean tobacco farms. The law sets 16 as the minimum age for children to work in any sector and prohibits children under 18 from performing hazardous work. In 2016, Human Rights Watch contacted 31 tobacco companies, including the eight companies that accounted for 86 percent of the tobacco purchase market share in Zimbabwe as well as several companies with whom they had previously corresponded regarding child labor on tobacco farms in other countries, including British American Tobacco.
No company that responded to Human Rights Watch indicated that they conduct any type of human rights due diligence in the auction system. None of the companies contacted publish sufficient information on their websites or otherwise. Publishing clear, comprehensive information about a company’s monitoring system is an essential component of effective due diligence and sends a message that companies are willing to be accountable when human rights abuses are found in their supply chain.
Human Rights Watch found that while companies made an effort to provide overviews and some details of their efforts in response to our inquiries, they did not disclose sufficient information to allow for external stakeholders to make an objective assessment as to whether a company is identifying key human rights problems, addressing them effectively, and improving human rights compliance in its supply chain.
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