Friday, July 16, 2010

The Child Labor Situation in Kazakhstan

Jeffrey Miron informs:

Human Rights Watch, the group best known for documenting governmental abuse and war crimes,... release[d] a report on Wednesday showing that child and forced labor is widespread on farms that supply a cigarette factory owned by Philip Morris International in Kazakhstan, in Central Asia.
Assuming the child labor is not coerced, these children are better off than if public or government pressure forces Philip Morris to stop hiring them. Under that scenario, most of these children would have zero income rather than a low income. It might “feel good” to oppose child labor, but the alternative for these children is not attending some nice school or relying on parental income; the alternative is an even lower standard of living if they cannot work.


  1. Perhaps we should have a tax/cap-and-trade system, for moral indignation. Anytime someone wants to express it, they would have to eat the costs of the externalities. Those of us with better sense would enjoy the fruits of our rationality. The revenue would help cover the consequences of bad legislation and naive media pressure.

  2. Bleeding heart activist smokers. Is that a sizeable demographic? Can we expect these people to put down their PhiMo smokes in protest?

    I'm guessing no.

  3. Why aren't their parents working? Why isn't Education freely available? Perhaps the immoral companies that can't pay adults enough or make their business model good enough to pay taxes should take a look at themselves. If Chimpanzees could write they would be doing this journal for NO money/education.