US Department of Labor releases 3 new reports on international child labor and forced labor

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US Department of Labor releases 3 new reports on international child labor and forced labor

December 15th 2010, The US Department of Labor released 3 new reports on international child labor and forced labor

The Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced the release of three reports on child labour and/or forced labour from around the world. Secretary Solis was joined by Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa at U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in their unveiling of the newly published reports.

“We consider the eradication of the worst forms of child labor to be a matter of urgency,” said Secretary Solis. “We hope these reports will assist governments around the world in taking effective next steps to eliminate the exploitation of children. No human being should work under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage or be forced to work under fear of punishment. Shining light on these problems is a first step toward motivating governments, the private sector and concerned citizens to take action to end these intolerable abuses that have no place in our modern world.”

The reports were developed by the department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, also known as ILAB, based on data collected from U.S. embassies, foreign governments, international and nongovernmental organizations, technical assistance and field research projects, academic research and the media.

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor is a report mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 that provides information on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. This year’s report introduces a new format highlighting the major findings related to each government’s efforts and includes country-specific suggestions for actions that would help combat these problems.

ILAB also released an update to its List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The update adds six new goods and 12 new countries for a total of 128 goods from 70 countries that ILAB has reason to believe are produced by forced labor, child labour or both in violation of international standards. t he united states department of labor’s bureau of international labor affairs.

Countries Researched                                 2009               2010                      Total
2009     77            Total Goods On List:        122                   6                          128
2010     39      Total Countries On List:           58                 12                            70
——     —                   Total Line items:        281                 30                          311

According to the report, when grouped by sector, agricultural goods comprise the largest category. With the new update, there are 61 agricultural goods on the List, 39 manufactured goods, and 27 mined or quarried goods. Production of pornographic materials (pornography) was a separate category; compelling evidence was found of this abuse in 7 countries, with the likelihood that it occurs in many more. Certain goods were found to be produced with child labor or forced labor in numerous countries. Examples include cotton (16 countries), sugarcane (15 countries), tobacco (15 countries), coffee (13 countries), cattle (9 countries), rice (8 countries), and cocoa (5 countries) in agriculture; bricks (15 countries), garments (6 countries), carpets (5 countries), and footwear (5 countries) in manufacturing; and gold (17 countries), diamonds (7 countries), and coal (6 countries) in mined or quarried goods. The entire report for this can be found at this CLICK HERE.

In addition, ILAB released a proposed revision to the current List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labour under Executive Order 13126 of 1999. The revision removes one product and adds another, maintaining a total of 29 products from 21 countries. These proposed changes to the executive order list will be available for a 60-day public comment period beginning Dec. 16.

By the end of 2010, ILAB will have funded more than $740 million in programs to help more than 80 countries combat the worst forms of child labor. The agency conducts research on and formulates international economic, trade and labor policies in collaboration with other U.S. government agencies, and provides international technical assistance in support of U.S. foreign-labor policy objectives.

Copies of the reports and frequently asked questions are available HERE. A printed version of each report is available by contacting the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room S-5317, Washington, DC 20210, by telephone at 202-693-4843, by fax 202-693-4830 or by e-mail at GlobalKids@dol.gov.

For more information on this topic, follow these links: Child Labour or Child Laborers or on Child Labour And Sweatshops to get a larger perspective.

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