Cheap clothing comes at a cost: some of the clothes we wear are manufactured by children who suffer difficult working conditions. Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Morocco, the Philippines, Portugal and Thailand are among the countries in which children are believed to help produce garments.
From: Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:40 PM
Issue 5, October 12, 2010
Context: Forced Child labour is an endemic and widespread practice in the cotton industry of Uzbekistan. According to experts, between 1.5 and 2 million schoolchildren between ages 10-16 are forced by the local authorities to pick cotton each harvest season from September until the end of November. This practice has been in place and almost unchanged since the Stalin era. Observers claim that forced child labor is orchestrated by the Uzbek central government, which in turn, denies its responsibility for it.
By MANSUR MIROVALEV (AP) – August 30, 2010
KOKAND, Uzbekistan — For one month a year, from morning to night, Dilorom Nishanova grows silkworms, a painstaking and exhausting job. She has been doing it since she was 8.
Uzbekistan’s authoritarian government insists that it has banned child labor but Nishanova, now 15, hasn’t heard about it. She and her siblings, aged 9 to 17, think it’s perfectly natural to be helping their father grow silkworms, as well as cotton and wheat.
“We just help our parents,” she said, her braided dark hair covered with a traditional Muslim scarf. “That’s what children have to do, right?”
Washington, DC, November 8, 2007 — With news last Friday that an additional 76 child slaves were rescued from Delhi’s embroidery dens, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC) has called for immediate and responsible action by brands and retailers to end child labor and trafficking of children, as well as forced labor, in their supply chain and sourcing. The Global March Against Child Labor (GMACL), for which the CLC serves as its North American coordinator, estimates that as many as 5,000-7,000 embroidery units may be operating in Delhi, with each unit employing between 25 and 30 children. Many of these children are victims of trafficking and bonded labor, a form of slavery.
Gap Inc. acknowledged on October 29, that one of its suppliers was using child slave labor. Children as young as 10 said they worked 16 hours a day for no pay, according to the British Observer newspaper’s investigation. The retailer issued a public statement and destroyed the products, which would have otherwise ended up on shelves at GapKids.
While Gap owned up to the problem, committed to correct it, and vowed to bring its suppliers into full compliance with its standards, the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) reports that a cover-up is being attempted by some other companies doing business in India. In essence, ITGLWF is hearing from some suppliers that they are being pressured to eliminate any paper trail between retailers/brands and Indian subcontractors, who may or may not be using child labor.
“If this is occurring, and we obtain brand or retailer names, consumers will hear about it,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League and Co-Chair of the CLC.
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All Content Copyright the Child Labor Coalition, site photos courtesy of Robin Romano
CLC members—the Ramsay Merriam Fund, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association—made this web site possible through their generous support.