Cashews, Rights and Business in Vietnam

Human Rights Watch has published a report contending as many as 123 drug rehabilitation centers are being used to provide labor for the cashew industry in Vietnam, the world largest exporter of the nuts — and that some of the 40,000 laborers, mostly heroin addicts, are being treated in violation of international human rights standards.  

Previously, in a leaked diplomatic cable, the US Embassy in Hanoi reported  internally that Vietnam uses prisoners for labor but said the practice represents less than 1% of the cashew industry in Vietnam.  

The existence of the HRW report underscores the importance of American companies monitoring their partners and suppliers in Vietnam.  The US, as well as China and much of Europe, are major buyers of Vietnam’s $1 billion of cashews exported annually. 

More on cashew workers in Vietnam and a summary of the Human Rights Watch report as well as the full report.

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