Fair Trade Beer!

Beer GirlsOkay, false advertising. I went to the Fair Trade Beer website, thinking I could order up a couple six packs, and found out about the plight of “Beer Girls” — or beer promotion women in Cambodia, who are employed by one brand of beer to sell nightly in the bars of Phnom Penh and other tourist cities. Their wages are low enough that prostitution oftentimes comes into the mix, and then disease, AIDS, and death. There is now a movement to ensure that these beer companies pay a fair wage to these women — as well as provide safer working conditions — so that these women can live, instead of be assured of dying quickly from disease.

I’ve been to Phnom Penh. It is a beautiful city, and I did not know about this situation while I was there. But the people are wonderful, and it is dismaying to know that large multinational alcohol companies have not stepped up to ensure the health and well-being of their employees.

What can we do? Contact the manufacturers, and ask them to change their practices.

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