New Report Shows Widespread Human Rights Abuses in North Carolina Tobacco Fields
September 18, 2011
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and Oxfam America are pleased to release a new report, A state of fear: Human rights abuses in North Carolina’s tobacco industry.
This report details the human rights impact of the tobacco industry on North Carolina’s farmworkers. The research for this report was gathered through a unique methodology developed by the Canadian organization Rights & Democracy that allows communities to assess the impact of private sector investments on their human rights. This methodology empowers local communities, allowing them to be the key framers and research gatherers. In this case, Oxfam adapted the tool to look at private sector domestically and worked with FLOC members and staff to solicit input from all stakeholders involved in the tobacco supply chain. This included not only face to face interviews with tobacco farmworkers in North Carolina, but also interviews with tobacco companies, growers, nongovernmental organizations, and government officials, making it a truly multi-stakeholder assessment. As detailed in the report, rampant human rights abuses remain in the tobacco industry and a new industry-wide approach is needed that holds tobacco companies more accountable for the conditions in the fields.