July 14, 2010

Part 3: Protection and Redress

3.1 Lack of Effective Government Oversight and Complaint Mechanisms

Kazakhstan’s human rights obligations require the government to take positive measures to protect migrant workers from abuse and exploitation. Effective monitoring of employers and making available accessible mechanisms for timely redress for abuses are crucial dimensions of rights protection. But the Kazakhstani government has not put in place effective monitoring or redress mechanisms that would end abuse and exploitation in tobacco farming.

Government officials consistently stated to Human Rights Watch that migrant workers did not appeal to official agencies in case of abuse. However, Human Rights Watch research in 2009 indicates that this is because avenues of redress are not accessible for migrant workers in the tobacco sector, not a lack of abuse. Even if migrant tobacco workers were to turn to government agencies, officials consistently told Human Rights Watch that the authorities would typically deport any migrant found to be working unofficially or with irregular migration status, and would not seek to investigate any complaints of abuse made by that worker.

Monitoring by the Labor Inspectorate and Ministry of Interior

A labor inspectorate exists under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population and is responsible for monitoring employers’ adherence to labor laws, including laws prohibiting child labor, and observing and protecting the rights and freedoms of workers. This includes reviewing applications and complaints made by workers and employers.[225] Both the labor inspectorate and the migration department of the Ministry of Interior are responsible for monitoring employers’ compliance with laws regarding the employment of foreign workers.

According to statistical information provided by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the labor inspectorates conducted 22,116 inspections in 2009 and identified over 100,000 violations of labor laws. The ministry did not specify how many of these inspections and violations took place in agriculture, although Human Rights Watch requested it to do so. The only information regarding the labor inspectorate’s activities in 2009 specific to agriculture indicated that 5.9 percent of workers who suffered accidents were employed in agriculture.[226]

In interviews with Human Rights Watch, migrant workers, local officials and landowners in the Enbekshikazakh district tobacco growing region stated that they had yet to encounter labor inspectors conducting inspections in the tobacco fields. According to one tobacco farmer in Malybai who regularly hires migrant workers, “There are never any inspections.”[227] An akim in one village in the Enbekshikazakh district told Human Rights Watch that for nearly a year there had been no official inspections, “There have not been any labor inspections or investigations by the prosecutor’s office in this village since September 2008,” he said.[228] One migrant worker told Human Rights Watch, “In ten years of working here, I have never seen the labor inspectorate.”[229]

Under Kazakhstani law, labor inspectors are required to inspect employers’ compliance with laws regulating the use of child labor, including the worst forms of child labor. The Committee of Experts of the ILO (CEACR), the legal body responsible for the examination of compliance with ILO conventions and recommendations, issued a report in 2009 concerning Kazakhstan’s implementation of the Worst Forms of Child Labor convention, including the requirement to establish mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the convention. The report found that “state labour inspectors periodically submit information on the use of child labour in Kazakhstan to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population,” yet noted that there is “a lack of child labour monitoring systems and a need to consolidate efforts of state institutes, non-governmental organizations, social partners, and international organizations in the area of detecting children engaged in the worst forms of child labor.” CEACR recommended the establishment of monitoring mechanisms to monitor the worst forms of child labor other than the labor inspectorate.[230] 

Government complaint mechanisms

In Kazakhstan, a number of a number of official agencies and mechanisms could potentially provide redress for abuses against migrant workers. Article 314 of the Labor Code of Kazakhstan guarantees the right of workers “to appeal to the state labor authority and its territorial subdivisions to inspect the working conditions and labor safety at his place of work.[231] As noted above, however, for a worker to be considered an employee, he or she must have a written employment contract. Individuals may also appeal to the prosecutor’s office, which is charged with ensuring respect for the laws of Kazakhstan, to the police or migration police, or directly to the courts for certain issues.[232] Experts indicated that there is limited judicial practice, however, on many of the legal violations relevant to migrant workers, including forced labor, and non-payment of wages in the absence of a written contract or other labor issues.[233] Individuals may also appeal to the human rights ombudsman in the event they believe that their rights have been violated by a government official, with certain exceptions, or a commercial organization.[234]

Government officials, migration experts, and migrant workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch for this report consistently stated that migrant workers rarely appeal to government agencies in the event of a violation of their rights. Vice Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Kazakhstan Birzhan Nurymbetov stated, “We receive no complaints from migrant workers. We do receive complaints from citizens of Kazakhstan against migrant workers who are working unofficially and against employers who have hired migrant workers without official permission.”[235]

The Head of the Migration Police Department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Serik Sainov, echoed this, stating that his department does not receive complaints from migrant workers, but that Kazakhstani employees complain to the police when their employer or companies have hired migrant workers unofficially.[236] Vyacheslav Kalyuzhnii, head of the National Human Rights Center of the Ombudsman’s Office, stated that the office received only between 10 and 20 complaints from migrant workers in 2008 and even fewer in 2009 and that very few complaints come from citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Kalyuzhnii believes that many workers are afraid to approach government agencies out of fear of retribution by the government or their employers or both.[237]

These fears appear to be well-founded. State officials uniformly stated that migrant workers found to be working unofficially or to have irregular migration status, due to expiration of their residency registration, would be deported, irrespective of any allegations of abuse by employers or state agents. Kalyuzhnii stated, “It is unfortunate, but migrants who perform work illegally, basically have no rights in Kazakhstan. No one will investigate violations against illegal [irregular] migrants. Migrants don’t want to go to the police to report violations because they fear that they will be deported. Illegal [irregular] migrants will be obliged to pay a fine and administratively deported.”[238] Vice Minister Nurymbetov also said, after several questions from Human Rights Watch about how the government would respond to a complaint of abuse made by a migrant worker, whose employment or residency was irregular, “We deport violators of migration laws immediately. And we will issue a ban prohibiting the employer from hiring migrant workers for one year.”[239]

No workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch in 2009 had filed a complaint to any official body in Kazakhstan, nor had they considered doing so. Migrant workers either did not know to whom to complain or believed any attempt at redress would be futile. Jakhon J., who worked in Malybai for most of the 2009 season, before leaving an abusive employer in the middle of the season without receiving any pay, “There is nowhere to file a complaint. No one ever files a complaint. And even if there is a place to complain, what kind of result will there be?”[240] “There’s no time to complain. Anyway, there’s nowhere to complain to!” Bakir B., who also worked in Malybai in 2009 told Human Rights Watch.[241]

3.2 Non-governmental Avenues for Redress

Non-governmental organizations

Kazakhstan has an established human rights community, and a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide direct legal and other services to individuals in need of assistance in defending their rights. The majority of these larger organizations are in larger cities. Migrant workers rarely approach these organizations because they are unaware of them, unable to travel to the towns or cities where organizations are located, or are unfamiliar with what services these organizations can provide.

The Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR), the largest human rights organization in Kazakhstan assists migrants, including migrant workers, but, according to a lawyer at the organization, few migrant workers approach them, despite the organization’s efforts to reach out to migrant populations. KIBHR can assist migrants in filing complaints with the courts or government agencies, but as the lawyer explained, “People are afraid of interacting with official government agencies. They also may not also have the time, since judicial processes typically take a long time.”[242] She added that in some cases migrant workers may be reluctant to turn to organizations offering legal assistance because migrants feel it is easier and faster for them to solve their problems informally, such as by offering a bribe.[243]

The lawyer was pessimistic about the concrete assistance that organizations like KIBHR can provide to most migrant workers, including those in tobacco farming, who seek redress for violations of labor law or other violations. Firstly, for migrant workers without an employment contract, the labor inspectorate and judiciary are very unlikely to recognize that labor relations existed. Secondly, only advocates, or members of the Bar, may represent plaintiffs in administrative cases; however, under Kazakhstani law, advocates may not work in social organizations.[244]

According to the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA), there are approximately 30 small NGOs working in the Enbekshikazakh district of Almaty province.[245] These organizations each focus on a specific theme, such as protection of the environment; promotion of tourism; support for the elderly, persons with disabilities, women, or veterans; as well as programs for children and other topics. Only one organization, Kazygurt, in Chilik, which is run by a local school director, has done any work related to migrant workers. Kazygurt prioritizes ecological and economic education, with a focus on low-income families. Kazygurt’s director, Ardak Kyrykbai, is also the head of the T. Kenzhebaieva high school in Chilik. Kyrykbai told Human Rights Watch that she is also a certified UN business trainer and she holds trainings for representatives of small and medium business in Chilik. She also trains farmers and one of the components of her trainings is to raise awareness of child labor. When Human Rights Watch spoke to her in 2010, Kyrykbai said that her organization did not have funds for specific projects to assist migrant workers, but she continues to conduct the trainings on her own. In 2007, Kazygurt ran a summer camp for migrant children sponsored by PMK via EFCA. The summer camps program is described in more detail in the next section. According to Kyrykbai, 220 children, aged 9-14, 70 percent of whom were children of migrant workers, attended the camp.[246]

Trade unions

The Almaty Union of Agro-industrial Workers includes agricultural workers from throughout Almaty province. The head of the union, Tastan Tokseitov, told Human Rights Watch that the union welcomes migrant workers and that in 2008, approximately 140 migrant workers, employed primarily in tobacco farming and, to a lesser degree, in vegetable farming, joined the union. A migrant worker is required to submit a written request and show proof of his residency registration in order to join the union. Although migrant tobacco workers have faced problems with contracts and fair payments, according to Tokseitov, the trade union has not submitted complaints to the prosecutor’s office or the judiciary on behalf of migrant workers.[247] 

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), together with its affiliates, the Almaty Union of Agro-Industrial Workers (AIWU) and the Agricultural Workers Union of Kyrgyzstan, have been working to support and protect migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan working in Almaty province since 2007.[248]  This effort emerged in response to reports of abuse against migrant agricultural workers in Kazakhstan, including child labor and other abuses.[249]

As part of this initiative, a union organizer has worked in the Almaty province specifically to defend the labor rights of migrant workers and to organize migrant workers employed in tobacco farming, vegetable farming, and viniculture. The union organizer has assisted migrant workers by accompanying the migrant worker to the employer and insisting on a written contract. In 2008, there were 1,647 migrant agricultural workers with contracts in Almaty province.[250] The union organizer also has helped migrant workers join the AIWU Almaty.[251]

In a June 2009 interview with Human Rights Watch, the union organizer also stated that he was concerned about employers’ confiscating migrant workers’ passports, and would take efforts to ensure migrant workers kept identity documents in their possession. He has approached employers himself directly to discuss this concern. He confirmed that workers have had complaints about deception in the final payment, including in 2008. In most cases, the representative seeks to settle these disputes directly with the employer, at times with the assistance of district or regional AIWU Almaty representatives.[252]

3.3 The Government of Kyrgyzstan

Labor-sending countries also bear responsibility to minimize the risk of abuse to workers who seek employment abroad. There are a range of measures governments can and, at times, do take to help ensure protection of migrant workers from their countries. These include providing effective consular services specific to the needs of migrant workers in countries of employment; implementing anti-trafficking legislation and policies; regulating employment agencies and individual employment recruiters; receiving and investigating complaints of abuse against migrant workers' rights by all parties, and when it is within their jurisdiction to pursue remedies against those responsible for abuse. Home country governments should also cooperate with international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as domestic NGOs in the formulation and implementation of protective measures.

The government of Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee on Migration and Employment has a representative based in the consulate of Kyrgyzstan in Almaty. Although the then-head of the State Committee, AIgul Ryskulova acknowledged some of the abuses experienced by migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan in Kazakhstan, the government in Bishkek has not taken an active role in protecting and assisting migrant tobacco workers from Kyrgyzstan. Most migrant workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch had not had any contact with the consulate and did not regard the consulate as a meaningful option for seeking assistance.

Abdykapar Tuyaliev, the representative of Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee on Migration and Employment at the consulate of Kyrgyzstan in Almaty told Human Rights Watch that the consulate receives complaints by telephone and during visiting hours twice a week. Tuyaliev also stated that he travels to the villages where migrant workers are employed in tobacco farming. He stated that previously there were many complaints regarding non-payment of wages and that in 2009 there were problems for migrant workers in securing contracts. He planned to travel to villages to assist migrants with securing contracts.[253]

Tuyaliev also stated that he regularly encounters child labor in the tobacco fields and tries to encourage parents to send children home. He also acknowledged that children are likely to study in school only if their parents live in Kazakhstan for several years consecutively, but was unaware of any efforts by the government of Kyrgyzstan to promote access for migrant workers’ children to Kazakhstan schools.[254] 

With respect to Kazakhstan’s moratorium on permits for workers in agriculture for 2009, Tuyaliev stated that Kyrgyzstan had not advocated for a revision of this policy, because it “was not going to become involved in the internal politics of Kazakhstan.”[255]

Migrant workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch had had a variety of experiences with the consulate. Some had encountered a representative from the consulate who visited the tobacco fields, though most had not. Nor had they considered traveling to Almaty to visit the consulate, in some cases because their employers had confiscated their passports making them unable to leave their workplaces. Migrant workers also expressed little trust in the consulate or little belief that the effort of making a complaint would produce a result.  One expert on labor migration in Kazakhstan confirmed this, stating that sending countries are not sufficiently supportive to migrant workers in Kazakhstan whose rights have been abused, cutting off an important potential avenue of redress.[256]

One family of migrant workers who worked in Malybai in 2007 told Human Rights Watch that they had spoken with a consular representative during his visit to the tobacco fields and told him that they were having difficulties with their employer. They described the consular official’s efforts:  “He went, looked at things, spoke with the landowner and with us, but there were no results.”[257] Another worker confirmed that the consular representatives “came to our fields in 2004-2007,” but that no one had visited in the last two years.[258] A few workers said that they had never seen consular representatives, including Bekbolot B., who was working in Koram in 2008 and 2009. “No one from the consulate or embassy ever comes here,” he told Human Rights Watch.[259] Migrant workers engaged in vegetable farming also told Human Rights Watch that they had not encountered any consular representatives.[260]

3.4 The Role of Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Kazakhstan

On its website, Philip Morris International expresses its aim “to be a responsible corporate citizen and to conduct [its] business with the highest degree of integrity.”[261] PMI states a desire to ensure “the fair treatment of our employees, suppliers, and customers” and to eliminate child labor.[262] Its commitments range from “supporting communities around the world, to addressing issues impacting employees and leading responsible environmental and agricultural practices.”[263]

The Good Agricultural Practices Policy

PMI maintains a Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) policy that should be implemented by all those who supply tobacco to PMI worldwide.[264] PMI describes the program as “one component of PMI’s commitment to social responsibility.”[265] The GAP relates to various aspects of tobacco farming and is designed to protect the environment as well as to “promote economic viability for the farmer and a safe working environment for those directly involved in the production of the crop.”[266] It has six key components: Mission and Values; Variety Management and Integrity; Crop Management; Integrated Pest Management (IPM); Sustainability; and Product Integrity. The GAP also states that PMI has a company policy regarding child and forced labor and communicates this policy to its tobacco leaf suppliers.[267]

The “Mission and Values” component of GAP sets out “measurables” on which PMI and its subsidiaries will assess tobacco supplier performance. Among the measurables relevant to concerns identified in this report are indicators concerning child labor. These include requirements to “prohibit unlawful child labor at the farm level;” to “implement a comprehensive plan to address child labor issues in tobacco production;” to conduct “random unannounced visits;” and to “encourage/support school attendance.” PMI and PMK’s response to child labor is addressed in detail in chapter 4.

Concerning worker safety, the “Mission and Values” section also includes the requirement to “establish an effective training program for CPA [Crop Protection Agents] handling, application, and storage.” In the “Integrated Pest Management” measurables on pesticide use expect suppliers to “promote the use of personal protective equipment.”[268] However, the GAP does not address other rights, including worker rights issues such as written, enforceable contracts, wages paid in accordance with local laws, limits on working hours, etc.

Implementation in Kazakhstan[269]

In Kazakhstan, monitoring of compliance with GAP policies is conducted by PMK agronomists, who are expected to regularly visit the tobacco farms. Agronomists are agricultural specialists who are typically former tobacco farmers themselves and live in the primary tobacco-growing communities. In 2009, there were four PMK agronomists responsible for monitoring 519 farms in the Enbekshikazakh district.

According to senior PMI and PMK executives, PMK agronomists visit each tobacco farm two to three times per month for routine inspections and also conduct unannounced audits.[270] These audits focus on compliance with agricultural practices and child labor. In a November 10, 2010 letter, PMI stated that PMK agronomists had conducted 171 unannounced audits in 2009. A March 2010 letter from PMI indicated that PMK’s agronomists had conducted 209 unannounced audits, during the 2009 growing season, 146 of which took place on farms employing migrant workers.[271]

Training is another important component of the GAP. In November 2009 PMI told Human Rights Watch that PMK conducted over 500 training sessions for farmers and their workers in 2009, which covered, among other matters, child labor prevention.[272] PMI and PMK executives also said that PMK agronomists conduct four separate training sessions per year with all farmers contracting with PMK. In 2009, PMK had contracts with farmers on 519 farms. Five to seven farmers participate at each session, and the training is dedicated to a certain areas of farming relevant to that season, such as pesticides, protection of the crop, and handling of seedlings. The company reports prevention of child labor is always included as a topic. Farmers are required to attend and confirm their attendance by signature. PMI and PMK executives also stated that “workers also usually attend, but they don’t sign in.”[273]

Despite the existence of the GAP policy and PMI and PMK’s steps to implement it in Kazakhstan, Human Rights Watch has reached the conclusion that these measures were not sufficient to prevent and remedy a range of abuses and exploitation, including child labor and forced labor Kazakhstan, as this report documents. For example, taking the “protect, respect, remedy” framework proposed by the U.N. Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, it is Human Rights Watch’s assessment that Philip Morris did not have adequate procedures in place to assess its human rights risks, examine the scope of its problems, and effectively mitigate those human rights problems. Nor did it have a mechanism to provide remedy to those children and adults whose rights were violated.

As described in more detail in the recommendations section of this report, PMI’s GAP policies should be revised to adequately address a range of rights concerns relevant for tobacco workers, with attention given to the particular vulnerabilities of migrant workers. PMI should ensure that the commitments it has made to engage third-party monitoring and to revise and expand internal monitoring procedures result in effective implementation of the GAP and other relevant policies.

PMI and PMK response to Human Rights Watch

During the research for this report Human Rights Watch and PMI maintained a dialogue through letters and meetings. In response to Human Rights Watch’s concerns raised in an initial October 13, 2009 letter to PMI, PMI and PMK undertook a three-day investigation in the Enbekshikazakh region. Throughout its dialogue with Human Rights Watch Philip Morris International said that the investigation had not found evidence of some of the worst abuses documented by Human Rights Watch, such as forced labor or debt bondage. Nevertheless, PMI has stated that the company “will not tolerate conduct such as that reported by Human Rights Watch from our suppliers, vendors, or contractors,”[274] as described in more detail below.

According to PMI, during the investigation, carried out in November 2009, PMI and PMK representatives visited “over 30 farms that employ or have employed migrant workers and conducting interviews with members of the PMK agronomy team, representatives of schools, local authorities, as well as NGOs we have been working with in the past.”[275] The investigation found no “evidence of debt bondage structures.” PMI stated that any advanced payments or expenses made by landowners on behalf of workers were not sufficiently large to put workers into debt equal or greater to the final payment.[276] Nor did PMI and PMK “find any cases where a worker claimed that the farmer had not honored his or her commitments made verbally.”[277]PMI told Human Rights Watch that it believes that “work [performed by workers for landowners] on other crops is compensated separately from and on top of the tobacco-related income.”[278] PMI also told Human Rights Watch that in the course of its November 2009 investigation, it found “a widespread acceptance of farmers holding passports “to protect against loss or theft, to protect [migrant workers] against alleged harassment from the police, and for registration purposes.” It also found evidence of passports being retained “as a security for advance payments” made by the landowner to workers.[279]

Commitments from PMI

PMI officials have told Human Rights Watch that PMI is “opposed to and committed to preventing child labor, forced labor, and other abusive and illegal conduct towards migrant workers in tobacco in Kazakhstan” and that the company is “taking steps to address the widest range of conduct.”[280] PMI has made several important commitments which if fully implemented and monitored would significantly improve the rights situation of migrant tobacco workers.

Contractual obligations

PMI and PMK have stated that they will strengthen future contracts concluded with landowners, for example by requiring that landowners “comply with the labor laws of Kazakhstan, including a prohibition of child labor and forced labor, requirements regarding safe and hygienic working conditions, and written employment contracts with all members of the migrant worker family.”[281] The contractual obligations for landowners also include a prohibition on the withholding of “passports or other official documents as a deposit or guarantee of fulfillment of the Employee’s obligations.” Documents can be held by the landowner only with the agreement of the worker and exclusively for the purposes of safekeeping. PMI and PMK have also stated that future PMK contracts with landowners would include a requirement that all fertilizers and pesticides be used in compliance with all safety requirements while using and storing them, and that the landowner ensures workers use the individual protective gear provided to them, including for the application of pesticides. [282] Violation of any of the terms of the contract will be grounds for termination of the contract by PMK.[283]

PMK will also provide landowners a template written contract to be concluded with each worker. According to PMI, the contract specifies that the farmer ensures “appropriate labour conditions in accordance with the legislation of Kazakhstan.” The contract establishes a combination payment scheme, whereby workers will receive a monthly payment not less than the minimum wage as well as a lump sum payment at the end of the season based on the weight and grade of the tobacco leaves.[284] These payments should be made in “a timely manner and in full.” PMI also said that should landowners need to receive prepayments from PMK to finance monthly wages, the contract between the landowner and PMK provides for this.[285] This is a significant step, given that the end-of-season lump sum payment structure puts workers at risk of becoming trapped in abusive employment situations and also contributes to the use of child labor.

The template contract will include a requirement for a 40-hour work week, with a provision indicating that extra work on certain days could be offset by reduced work hours on other days, but that extra hours worked would not be considered overtime. Workers would also be granted at least 24 days of paid annual leave.[286] The contract also includes a provision for the employer to provide the necessary individual protective gear to workers using pesticides.[287] In addition to rubber boots, gloves, and masks, PMK will also make available protective suits for a nominal fee and verify that the protective gear is worn during the application of crop protection agents.[288]Given the inherently hazardous nature of pesticide use Human Rights Watch has recommended to PMI that PMI and PMK should provide all safety equipment at no cost to the workers. 

Contracts with landowners and landowners’ contracts with workers will also include a requirement that landowners provide “sufficient drinking and washing water on the work premises.”[289] Both PMK’s contracts with landowners and landowners’ contracts with employees will mandate that landowners provide employees with “minimum standard living conditions, including dry and warm housing, sanitary facilities and access to potable water near the housing, except for employees who have their own accommodation near the place of work.”[290]

Pesticides and fertilizers

In January 2010 PMI stated that it would “refresh the content of the safety instruction hand-outs and provide them in Russian, Kazakh and Kyrgyz language[s].”[291] With regard to the Decis and Confidor pesticides, in March 2010, PMI told Human Rights Watch that they have “checked again the PMK pesticides handout that was used last year against the safe handling instructions provided by the supplier of Decis and Confidor and believe that they are substantially consistent.”[292] 

Training of agronomists

In January 2010 PMI and PMK indicated commitment to expanding the training of agronomists to include topics such as forced labor, passport retention, living conditions, and access to education for children.[293] In March 2010 PMI indicated that PMI and PMK planned to review “the question of whether it is reasonable to expect the agronomists to be responsible both for monitoring agricultural issues (tobacco quality and yield) and labor issues (child and forced labor, working and living conditions), with the involvement of the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Department of PMK.”[294] PMI said that PMK “is considering increasing the percentage of total farms audited in 2010 to 50 percent, which would … result in a complete coverage of all farms employing migrant workers.”[295]

PMI is also working to improve internal monitoring and adopting internal checks,[296] including working with a third-party organization expert in monitoring labor violations to verify landowners’ compliance with new policies.[297] They also plan to continue outreach to the ILO, local NGOs and local government officials.[298]

 

[225] Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, arts. 328 and 329.

[226] Letter from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Human Rights Watch, received January 25, 2010.

[227] Human Rights Watch interview with landowner, June 2009, name, location, and exact date withheld.

[228] Human Rights Watch interview with Akim, June 2010.

[229] Human Rights Watch interview with Chainara Ch., Malybai, June 11, 2009.

[230] ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, CEACR: Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182), Kazakhstan (ratified 2003) Submitted 2009.

[231] Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, art. 314.

[232] Human Rights Watch interviews with Viktoria Tyuleneva, Almaty, November 10, 2009 and with Vadim Ni, Almaty, June 11, 2009.

[233] Ibid.

[234] See: “Rules for Appeals,” Website of the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Kazakhstan, http://www.ombudsman.kz/sityzens/poryadok.php (accessed January 29, 2010).

[235] Human Rights Watch interview with Birzhan Nurymbetov, Astana, November 11, 2009.

[236] Human Rights Watch interview with Serik Sainov, Astana, November 11, 2009.

[237] Human Rights Watch interview with Vyacheslav Kalyuzhnii, Astana, November 11, 2009.

[238] Ibid.

[239] Human Rights Watch interview with Birzhan Nurymbetov, Astana, November 11, 2009.

[240] Human Rights Watch interview with Dzhakhon D., Karatash, Kyrgyzstan, December 20, 2009.

[241] Human Rights Watch interview with Bakir B., Malybai, June 11, 2009.

[242] Human Rights Watch interview with Viktoria Tyuleneva, Almaty, November 10, 2009.

[243] Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Viktoria Tyuleneva, March 9, 2009.

[244] Human Rights Watch interview with Viktoria Tyuleneva, November 10, 2009.

[245] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Jeff Erlich, president, Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA), March 15, 2010, and EFCA list of nongovernmental organizations in the Enbekshikazakh district, on file with Human Rights Watch.

[246] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Ardak Mukhamedjanovna Kyrykbai, director, Kazygurt, and director, T. Kenzhebaeva High School, March 19, 2010.

[247] Human Rights Watch interview with Tastan Tokseitov, Almaty, June 8, 2009.

[248] IUF is a global trade union federation with a membership of 363 affiliated organizations representing 12 million workers in 128 countries. Members are employed in agriculture, the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages, hotels, restaurants and catering services, and all stages of tobacco processing. The IUF, http://cms.iuf.org/?q=node/149 (accessed February 11, 2010).

[249] Human Rights Watch interview with Lika Shershukova, Regional Coordinator, International Union of Foodworkers, Moscow, April 23, 2009.

[250] Human Rights Watch interview with union organizer, Chilik, June 17, 2009; out of concerns for his safety, the union organizer asked not to be named.

[251] Human Rights Watch interview with union organizer, June 17, 2009.

[252] Ibid.

[253] Human Rights Watch interview with Abdykapar Tuyaliev, Almaty, June 10, 2009.

[254] Ibid.

[255] Ibid.

[256] Human Rights Watch interview with Vadim Ni, independent expert, Almaty, June 11, 2009.

[257] Human Rights Watch interview with Nadira N., Karatash, April 6, 2009.

[258] Human Rights Watch interview with Kapar K., Malybai, June 11, 2009.

[259] Human Rights Watch interview with Bekbolot B., Koram, June 8, 2009.

[260] Human Rights Watch interview with Khalisan, Koram, June 8, 2009.

[261] Philip Morris International, Inc., “Our goals,” undated, http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/PMINTL/pages/eng/ourbus/Our_goals.asp (accessed July 16, 2009).

[262] Philip Morris International, Inc., “How we operate,” undated, http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/pmintl/pages/eng/ourbus/how_we_operate.asp (accessed July 16, 2009).

[263] Philip Morris International, Inc., “Responsibility,” undated, http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/PMINTL/pages/eng/community/Responsibility.asp (accessed July 6, 2009).

[264] Philip Morris International, “Good Agriculture Practices: Guidelines and Assessment,” undated, on file with Human Rights Watch, p. 3

[265] Ibid., p. 4.

[266] Ibid., p. 2.

[267] Ibid., pp. 3-4.

[268] Ibid., p. 10.

[269]PMI and PMK’s response to child labor is addressed in chapter 4.

[270] Their workload is about 15 farms per day. Human Rights Watch interview with PMI and PMK executives, Almaty, November 13, 2009. PMK agronomists conducted 363 unannounced audits of farms in 2008. Letter from Hurwitz, November 10, 2009.

[271] Letter from Hurwitz, March 11, 2010.

[272] Letter from Hurwitz, November 10, 2009.

[273] Human Rights Watch interview with PMI and PMK executives, Almaty, November 13, 2009.

[274] Letter from Hurwitz, January 14, 2010.

[275] Letter from Hurwitz, January 14, 2010. Human Rights Watch interview with PMI and PMK executives, Almaty, November 13, 2009.

[276] Letter from Hurwitz January 14, 2010.

[277] Ibid.

[278] Letter from Hurwitz, March 11, 2010.

[279] Letter from Hurwitz, January 14, 2010.

[280] Ibid.

[281] Letter from Hurwitz, March 11, 2010.

[282] Ibid.

[283] Ibid.

[284] Ibid.

[285] Ibid.

[286] Ibid.

[287] Ibid.

[288] Ibid.

[289] Ibid.

[290] Ibid.

[291] Letter from Hurwitz, January 14, 2010.

[292] Letter from Hurwitz, March 11, 2010.

[293] Letter from Hurwitz, Ibid.

[294] Letter from Hurwitz, March 11, 2010.

[295] Ibid.

[296] Ibid.

[297] Letter from Hurwitz, January 14, 2010.

[298] Letter from Hurwitz, March 11, 2010.