Sự tàn bạo của đường: Nợ nần, tảo hôn và cắt tử cung

các cô gái trẻ bị đẩy vào tảo hôn bất hợp pháp để có thể cùng chồng cắt và hái mía. Thay vì nhận tiền lương, họ làm việc để trả các khoản tạm ứng từ người sử dụng lao động

The two soft-drink makers have helped turn the state of Maharashtra into a sugar-producing powerhouse. But a New York Times and Fuller Project investigation has found that these brands have also profited from a brutal system of labor that exploits (khai thác) children and leads to the unnecessary sterilization of working-age women.

Young girls are pushed into illegal child marriages so they can work alongside their husbands cutting and gathering sugar cane. Instead of receiving wages (nhận lương), they work to pay off advances from their employers — an arrangement that requires them to pay a fee for the privilege of missing work, even to see a doctor.

Removing a woman’s uterus has lasting consequences, particularly if she is under 40. In addition to the short-term risks of abdominal pain and blood clots, it often brings about early menopause, raising the chance of heart disease, osteoporosis (loãng xương) and other ailments.

But for many sugar laborers, the operation has a particularly grim outcome: Borrowing against future wages plunges (tiền lương lao dốc) them further into debt, ensuring that they return to the fields next season and beyond. Workers’ rights groups and the United Nations labor agency have defined such arrangements as forced labor.

Sugar producers and buyers have known about this abusive system for years. Coca-Cola’s consultants, for example, visited the fields and sugar mills (nhà máy đường) of western India and, in 2019, reported that children were cutting sugar cane and laborers were working to repay their employers. They documented this in a report for the company, complete with an interview with a 10-year-old girl.

Labor abuse is endemic in Maharashtra, not limited to any particular mill or farm, according to a local government report and interviews with dozens of workers. Maharashtra sugar has been sweetening cans of Coke and Pepsi for more than a decade, according to an executive at NSL Sugars, which operates mills in the state.

The mill owners, though, say that they do not actually employ the workers. They hire contractors to recruit migrants from far-off villages, transport them to the fields and pay their wages. How those workers are treated, the owners say, is between them and the contractors (nhà thầu).

Those contractors are often young men whose only qualification is that they own a vehicle. They are merely doling out the mill owners’ money, they say. They could not possibly dictate working (ra lệnh làm việc) conditions or terms of employment.

source: nytimes,

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