Child Labor related news from around the world

CLC Calls for the End of the Worst Forms of Child Labor on World Day Against Child Labor (2009 Press Release)

Washington, DC–Today, June 12th, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), representing 22 organizations, including several of America’s largest labor unions, celebrates 2009 World Day Against Child Labor by urging consumers and the general public to take action against exploitative child labor.

“This week we also celebrate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182, designed to eradicate the worst forms of child labor,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League and co-chair of the CLC. “Child labor rates have dropped during the last decade but much work remains to be done,” said Greenberg.

“The ILO estimates that today 218 million children are still working in conditions that deny them their rights to a proper childhood, threatens their education, and their well-being,” said fellow CLC Co-Chair Antonia Cortese, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which represents 1.4 million public service employees.

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Child Labor Horrors in Fashion Industry: “Hide the Shame” is the New Strategy (2007 Press Release)

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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