Researchers at MSF described mortality rates for the total population as "substantially" exceeding the emergency threshold. For example, deaths associated with children under the age of five have more than doubled the emergency level. Diarrhea accounts for more than 90 percent of the deaths, with malnutrition cited as the primary contributing factor. At least 28 percent of children under five are malnourished, and 10 percent face severe malnutrition. The statistics become more dire in children under two. Among this segment, 44 percent are malnourished and 18 percent have already progressed to the most life-threatening stages of the disease.
"It's especially hard when you hear about infants and toddlers suffering slow, terrible deaths," Walmart HR representative Effienne Kierter told reporters, wiping away tears. "These kids are the future. They're the next generation of workers who'll be manning the assembly lines, the sewing machines, the packing plants. You can train them early, and when they hit the
Once the older slaves reach 15, Kierter said, they will also lose out on opportunities to earn income through forced prostitution.
"American and European businessmen looking to indulge in these more exotic carnal pleasures won't consider sex workers beyond that age," Waybill noted. "Most buyers tend to shy away after a child reaches puberty. So these teens will probably die of starvation or disease too, which then depletes the pool of potential baby makers. In the end, it's a vicious circle that leads to the equivalent of workforce genocide, with Walmart customers standing in the cinders of the holocaust. It could take years to sort everything out and move forward again."
Walmart shares slumped 3.3 percent after investor confidence soured when the company reported disappointing earnings in fiscal sales, losing the war of low prices to its competitor, Target. Analysts and Walmart executives expect to lose an even greater edge on maintaining low prices if mortality rates in other third world countries continue to ravage the remaining populations of slave labor.
Marketing teams have reportedly issued warnings to prepare investors for possible production problems, which could force the company to procure more expensive American-made goods, with the increased costs being passed through to consumers.
"At some point Walmart may have to purchase locally and raise prices, as un-American as that sounds," Waybill said.
(c) 2012. See disclaimers.