BAT faces landmark legal case over Malawi families’ poverty wages

Exclusive: Lawyers seeking compensation in UK for child labourers and their parents

Human rights lawyers are preparing to bring a landmark case against British American Tobacco on behalf of hundreds of children and their families forced by poverty wages to work in conditions of gruelling hard labour in the fields of Malawi.

Leigh Day’s lawyers are seeking compensation for more than 350 child labourers and their parents in the high court in London, arguing that the British company is guilty of “unjust enrichment”. Leigh Day says it anticipates the number of child labourer claimants to rise as high as 15,000. While BAT claims it has told farmers not to use their children as unpaid labour, the lawyers say the families cannot afford to work their fields otherwise, because they receive so little money for their crop.

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