NGO’s: Carlsberg Responsible for Death of Cambodian Laborers

The international beer industry in Cambodia is accused of treating its female employees miserably, reports Jyllands-Posten. According to the accusers – several NGO’s and women’s rights organizations working in Cambodia – one out of five of the so-called “beer girls” die of either aids, drunkenness or violence in connection with their work for the beer companies. This happens, the accusers claim, because the salary is so low that the drunk girls end up sleeping with customers in order to make enough money to survive.

These rough charges are primarily pointed at Carlsberg, Heineken, and Inbev, which are all among the world’s five largest breweries. In a letter sent directly to the top management of those three beer companies, the organizations accuse the companies of not doing enough to create tolerable living- and working conditions for the young girls.
     “The problem with the female beer sales workers’ unnecessary deaths from HIV/aids and the physical injuries related to their working conditions have been known by the breweries since 2000. Several reports and investigations have been publicized – something, which the beer industry even paid for themselves,” states the letter, which is written by professor Ian Lubek from Canada on behalf of the organizations in Cambodia.
     Professor Lubek has recently concluded several meetings with leading staff members of the three breweries without reaching a break-through or an increased understanding of the problems, he claims. Until now, Carlsberg has denied the charges.

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