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Teaching the importance of eliminating child labor


We can make a positive change

JTI represents the international activities of JT Group’s tobacco business. JTI manufactures and sells more than 90 brands of tobacco products in more than 120 countries.  Much of its tobacco is grown in developing countries with significant rural populations.

Founded in 1999, JTI represents the international business of the JT Group, a Japanese diversified conglomerate that owns several tobacco brands. Much of JTI’s tobacco is grown in developing countries where rural economies are less developed and where communities are highly dependent on agriculture. These communities often suffer from poor living conditions as well as limited access to basic health care, sanitation and education. JTI has specific programs to invest directly in the communities where it operates and works with communities to improve living conditions, including the rights and safety of workers and to help eliminate exploitative child labor. JTI applies stringent standards of business ethics to its suppliers and has specific labor practice standards for its tobacco leaf growers. These standards are based on the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and outline the company’s stance against child labor and incorporate measures to eliminate its occurrence. JTI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and has more than 27,000 employees globally. 

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JTI in action with ARISE

JTI provides funding for ARISE activities and coordinates and manages the partners, finance, budgets and program administration. The company has extensive presence in the field and JTI Leaf Technicians play a key role. They are on the front line educating farmers about child labor, responding to families’ questions and overseeing the implementation of JTI’s Agricultural Labor Practices. They play a key role in mapping and identifying opportunities for ARISE initiatives because of their specific local knowledge about the social needs of tobacco-growing communities. They support decision-making about which community and which initiative is appropriate, and support the ILO when it is performing rapid assessments. JTI also coordinates the alignment to and collaboration with other JTI programs. 

‘One of the great strengths of the program’s design is its flexibility and responsiveness. Guided by practical learning and on-the-ground experience, we intend to shape its evolution year by year to better meet our objective of reducing child labor in communities where we buy our tobacco.’

JTI takes an inclusive view of the environmental, social, and economic aspects of tobacco cultivation and is committed to operating responsibly and encouraging the spread of best practice. Although we don't own tobacco farms, we do own leaf dealers and processing facilities in a number of countries which brings us into direct contact with thousands of growers and their communities. There is an imperative to improve the long-term sustainability of those communities and, by extension, our leaf supply chain. The elimination of child labor is an area where we can make a positive change.


Maarten Bevers
GSC & GL Corporate Affairs & Communications VP, JTI


Our activities

Our activities aim to address the underlying root causes of child labor in the tobacco industry.

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Brazil, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia

We reach thousands of children and their families.

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Success story

We’re already making progress

Many of the children and families that ARISE has worked with have new opportunities.

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ARISE aims to end child labor in communities where JTI sources tobacco leaf. We work with those directly affected and with others who have the power to change things. Our initiatives are developed and delivered in collaboration with tobacco-growing communities, social partners and governments.