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'Hellish Work': Exploitation of Migrant Tobacco Workers in Kazakhstan

The report provides an insight into the current situation of migrant tobacco workers in Kazakhstan. The study is based on 68 interviews with migrant workers conducted between 2009 and early 2010. The interviews have revealed that in the absence of legal residency and employment status, migrant workers are less able or willing to seek redress through government agencies or the courts. Migrant workers are also typically very poor, mostly do not speak Kazakh, and are living in remote areas, far from governmental or nongovernmental services. In the case of children, the report shows that children who worked with their families on tobacco farms typically missed several months of school each year, or even entire academic years. Although very often parents expected their children to work with them, in some cases this was because migrant children faced obstacles in accessing local schools in Kazakhstan.

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