Source: IPS News
(IPS) – Hoping for better opportunities than they can find at home, many families from Kyrgyzstan travel to find work. Neighbouring Kazakhstan has the strongest economy in Central Asia, and tobacco farms attract workers fleeing Kyrgyzstan’s high unemployment.
Upon arriving at their new employers’ farms, however, many find hardship and exploitation instead of the advantages they’d hoped for, as a new report by Human Rights Watch reveals.
Kyrgyz workers travel to Kazakhstan for the nine-month growing and harvesting season, often with their children in tow. Those interviewed by Human Rights Watch reported that they performed difficult physical labour far more hours per day than permitted under Kazakhstan’s labour laws, and received very little rest, often not getting time off for weekends or holidays.