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Sudan: Country Dismisses U.S. Report on Human Rights Violation

[from AllAfrica.com]

Juba — The government of South Sudan has strongly denounced the US department of states report on human rights on the country and instead reiterated its commitment to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens in the word’s newest nation.

A report released by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Right and Labor pins documents a series of extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and other inhumane treatment of civilians that allegedly occurred in South Sudan between January to December 2011.

Approximately 250,000 people, it says, were displaced as a result of the conflict reportedly emanating from fighting between South Sudan army (SPLA) and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), clashes with renegade militia groups or cattle-related disputes among communities. Read more

Donna Ballman: Why Repealing Child Labor Laws Is a Truly Stupid Idea

RedRoom

By Donna Ballman

Did you hear the one where the Republican contender for president said we ought to repeal child labor laws? Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but if you weren’t paying attention due to all the holiday parties, you might have missed Newt Gingrich’s comments on the subject. He said that child labor laws are “truly stupid.” He wants poor 10-year-olds to become school janitors.

As the mother of a 10-year-old, Mr. Gingrich’s comments have been weighing on me. I had to speak up. Talk like this might get some headlines and votes, but it’s shortsighted to even think about abolishing child labor laws.

Anyone who is thinking that this proposal is anything but idiotic needs a little history lesson:
In the beginning of the industrial age, factory owners figured out that the machines were so simple, even a child could operate them. Children were less likely to push for those pesky unions. So poor children were sent to work in factories with dangerous equipment. Children would work 12 to 18 hours a day, six days a week, to earn a dollar. Factories were creative in ways to keep the “young imps” inside, using barbed wire and locked fire exits. Children would do dangerous jobs like carrying hot glass, working in coal mines, hauling heavy loads, and working in textile mills. Read more

California tells Apple, Others not to use Slaves

This isn’t a repeat from the 19th century

| by Nick Farrell in Rome | Filed in Business Apple California

California has introduced a law requiring Apple and thousands of others to make sure that slave labour isn’t part of the supply chain.

According to Reuters,  the law was written following allegations that Apple and Gap used forced labour to create their products.

The law will force manufacturers to explain how they guard against slavery and human trafficking throughout their supply chain. More than 3,200 major companies which do business in California  will be required to disclose steps they take, if any, to ensure their suppliers and partners do not use forced labour.

Companies will risk getting sued by the state attorney general if they flout that law.

Apple declined to comment on the new legislation but the law comes after controversy about working conditions at huge supplier Foxconn, where there were a string of suicides.

However, it’s not clear how this law could cause Apple much trouble as the last we heard, none of the workers at Foxconn were actually forced to work there.

Apparently the law defines child labour and slavery as forced labour. Apple had some problems with some of its suppliers using child labour, but said that it sorted that out. Read more

U.S. to support Peru in fight against Child Labor

By Manuel Vigo [from LivinginPeru.com]

On Tuesday the U.S Department of Labor awarded a $13 million grant in support of NGOs that fight against child labor in Peru.

The 4-year program will be carried out in Huancavelica, Junin and Pasco, and will target 6,500 children working in agriculture and other sectors in rural Peru, said the press release.

NGO ‘Desarrollo y Autogestión’ (DYA) will lead an international group of NGOs in the fight against exploitative child labor in Peru. Read more