Negative Practices

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Burmese villagers ‘forced to work on Total pipeline’

This article discusses a particular case, involving Total – a French franchise that is forcing Burmese villagers to work on its pipeline. The authors state that Burmese soldiers are primarily responsible for this act of force. Interviewed villagers explain that soldiers have been taking civilians out of their homes for many years, and order them to work on a pipeline that in turn has produced millions of dollars for the military government.

Sisodia, Rajeshree and Andrew Buncombe. “Burmese Villagers ‘Forced to Work on Total Pipeline.” The Independent. 14 Aug. 2009. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. <>.



High Tech, Low Pay in Focus

In China, factory workers are often exposed to long hours and inhumane working conditions.  Because of this, China has been widely criticized by both the international community and NGOs that advocate for the promotion of human rights. Even though China has ratified most international regulations regarding workers protection, many privately owned factories and manufacturing centers openly violate these regulations that are designed to promote safety in the workplace. Many workers are exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals, and face significant health risks associated with the work they perform. Additionally, workers are often abused by their employers, and are subjugated to a wide range of verbal and physical attacks.  This article serves as a call to action for western governments and Chinese authorities to place increased emphasis on protecting the rights of workers.

“High Tech, Low Pay in Focus.” Business and Human Rights Documentation Project. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. <>.



Child Tobacco Farmers ‘Exposed to Toxic Levels of Nicotine’

Each year, thousands of children around the world are forcibly recruited to work in tobacco plantations. In Malawi alone, there are an estimated 78,000 children who are employed in agricultural activities. Children that work on plantations are often exposed to unsafe levels of toxic chemicals from fertilizers and products associated with agricultural production. Children that work on tobacco farms come into contact with nicotine, which can have adverse health effects. Many endure up to 12-hour work shifts and receive as little as 17 cents for the day’s work. For most child laborers, poverty is the main reason for working full-time jobs. In addition, many countries in the developing world lack effective labor laws that regulate the rights of employees. As a result, governments are often unable to protect workers’ rights or uphold universally accepted human rights.

Sterns, Olivia. “Child Tobacco Farmers ‘Exposed to Toxic Levels of Nicotine.” CNN News. 25 Sept. 2009. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. <>.

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