For most of us, a large dose of coffee is the only way to get us through the working day. Caffeine is essentially the fuel that powers the workforce of most countries around the world, and without it we’d probably be falling asleep at our desks left, right, and center.
However, it turns out that one country has taken the idea of a substance-fueled workforce one step too far. North Korea are being accused of feeding their workers crystal meth in order to make them work faster, and human rights activists around the world are not in the slightest bit happy.
Sadly, the story is just another human rights abuse in a long list of accusations leveled at the country. If you know anything about North Korea, you know that it’s the ultimate example of what happens when you let government completely control your life.
In order to speed up a major construction project in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang, project managers have resorted to openly feeding their workers crystal meth, a form of methamphetamine. When snorted or inhaled, crystal meth gives users a sense of euphoria, increased energy levels and a suppressed appetite. The effects can last up to 12 hours, followed by a severe comedown. Unsurprisingly, the drug is also highly addictive.
A construction source in Pyongyang told Radio Free Asia: “Project managers are now openly providing drugs to construction workers so that they will work faster. [They] are undergoing terrible sufferings in their work.”
Phil Robertson, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said:
“It’s going to be hard to verify that this is happening, but if it is confirmed then we utterly condemned it. The real issue here is slave labour, and our immediate reaction to this was that if they want faster workers why not actually pay them, instead of resorting to giving them drugs?
“The North Korean government wants to finish these buildings to somehow prove that they are a developed country. But this kind of forced labor has been unilaterally condemned by the international community. It is a throwback to the Second World War when governments regularly resorted to forcing labor of their citizens.”
This article originally originally appeared on Viral Thread.