Last Friday it was International Workers Day.
So today I am writing about child labour, the next time you use your cell-phone, watch TV, buy clothes or eat something, ask the question who made this possible at the knock-down price you paid. Remember that fakes of famous luxury brands have more than likely been made by children, there is a reason why they are normally so expensive.
Like many I remember the soft carefree years of childhood, however for 233 million those days are filled with soul-crushing tiredness, pain and fear.
When the Corporations are confronted the reply is typical.
It's always someone else's fault, it is always about to be stopped, it is always the responsibility of others never the corporation raking in billions.
If the International Corporations will not allow free access to their sub-contractors plants around the world, how can we believe them since they have been found out to be lying so many times before?
How can any of our top athletes still wear the swoosh? Have they no shame, or taking Nike's millions make it palatable. Tiger Woods got $100million from Nike I suppose that buys a whole lot of peace of mind or 700,000 Nike workers if you prefer.
Who else do they sponsor?
I wonder how they would live a $1.20 a day.
Whatever Nike say they are lying, they may clean up one factory they just move it elsewhere to get the cheapest labour possible.
"Of all the issues facing Nike in workplace standards, child labour is the most vexing,"
Vexing? You piece of shit, its illegal.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (1989) is an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children. Almost every country in the world has signed up to this and agreed to abide by its terms. Article 32 of the UNCRC helps us define harmful work – as "work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development." The term ‘child labour’ is usually referring to this kind of work.
Nike is but one of many of our Corporations that employ child labour, all would deny it, and when presented with the evidence say 2but, but we are a global business how can we be expected to know what is going on everywhere." My answer to that is downsize until you can manage your production facilities. Of course they know exactly what is going on.
That is why the look for countries where Unions are banned and whose governments are considered business friendly.
A leading human rights organization sued the Nestle, Archer Daniels Midland, and Cargill companies today in Federal District Court in Los Angeles for involvement in the trafficking, torture, and forced labor of children who cultivate and harvest cocoa beans which the companies import from Africa. The suit was brought under two federal statutes, the Torture Victims Protection Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act
The Gap yesterday admitted to widespread problems - from unsafe machinery to child labour violations - in the thousands of factories it uses around the world to produce clothing for its retail chains.
Seeking to combat its image as a sweatshop operation, the company detailed the findings in its first social responsibility report. The full 42-page document is available on the website, gapinc.com
The cut-price fashion chain that has transformed Britain's high streets, said yesterday that it had been buying clothes from suppliers who use child labour. Primark said that it was dropping three Indian companies that make thousands of clothes for its stores after discovering they had sub-contracted work out to companies that, in some cases, used children for embroidery work.
Wal-Mart Caught Using Child Labour
In early December, CBC television exposed Wal-Mart for using child labour at two factories in Bangladesh. According to the CBC report, children 10 to 14 years old were discovered working in the factories for less than $50 a month, making 'Simply Basic' and other Wal-Mart-brand products for export to Canada.
WASHINGTON - Investors concerned about illegal child labor on West African plantations are demanding that Hershey Co. spill the beans on where the candy maker gets its cocoa.
Rights group Global Exchange, which holds 80 shares of Hershey stock, is putting the demand to a vote at the company's April 18 annual shareholders meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
D-Kos' favourite company Monsanto and others
Both Hindustan Lever Ltd., an Indian subsidiary of British-Dutch multinational company Unilever, as well as the American multinational Monsanto are making use of hazardous forms of child labour in cotton seed production in India on a large scale. An estimated number of 25,000 children, mostly girls, work an average of ten to thirteen hours a day for Hindustan Lever, while around 17,000 children work for Monsanto and their Indian subsidiary Mahyco. These children get no education, earn less than 40 Eurocents (Rs. 20) a day and are exposed to poisonous pesticides like Endosulphan during their work. More than 11,000 children work under similar conditions for the multinationals Syngenta (Swiss), Advanta (Dutch-British) and Proagro (owned by Bayer of Germany).
The list goes on and on, the difficulty with investigating reports of child labour get harder as regimes aid global companies in hiding the truth. Access is restricted, any request for access denied until the workers are moved elsewhere.
Child labour is like a cancer, they are not used a supplemental workers, but to replace adults since they are cheaper and once spent they are easily replaced. Child labour distorts an economy making it harder to eradicate the problem hence it becomes entrenched.
Our Labour unions forced the change here and to avoid this elsewhere Corporations have come to agreements with governments in the developing world to ensure unions are illegal by bribing/threatening these governments.
How can you help?
I know it is impossible to determine where evrything is made and by whom it is made. Location of manufacture is usually a good indication when fashion articles are concerned, price where counterfeit luxury goods are concerned another.
We may not be able to impose our values on other countries but we sure as hell can tell our corporations and sellers of their products what we think. The best way of imposing our will is via the cash we spend. This recession gives us an ideal opportunity to rationalise how we spend our money. The corporations will then change the way the operate they will still produce where labour is cheap but at least children will not be like grist to the mill.
These are historical cases where our corporations are concerned. Investigating child labour is difficult as many of the sub-contractors work hard to keep it a secret. Until work places around the world are open to regular inspection the doubt must remain. Corporations have a long history of breaking the rules with respect to labour laws and health and safety laws, it is therefore impossible to take their word for it that they have changed the way they do business.
The argument that child labour is necessary in some economies is a strawman, it was used when the unions here forced the changes in working conditions through. I am not talking a few hours of helping the parents out I am talking about children doing the parents work because they are cheaper. The object is to get the adults working so they can support their family a difference of $2 a day is not going to make a pair of Nike's unaffordable.
Until we insist foreign government must hold to our standards to trade with us nothing will change, it is not free trade it is fair trade that is required.
Update2: For homogenius
The Gap said it cancelled supply deals with 136 plants last year because of various violations. Contracts were terminated with 42 plants in China, another 42 in south-east Asia, 31 on the Indian subcontinent and nine in Europe.
The discovery of the sweatshop has the potential to cause major embarrassment for Gap. Last week, a spokesman admitted that children appeared to have been caught up in the production process and rather than risk selling garments made by children it vowed it would withdraw tens of thousands of items identified by The Observer.
They have a history, whether you like it or not.
Lets see what they do in 2009 or 2010.
They need monitoring due to their past history.
Fuck you. (0+ / 0-)
How fucking dare you accuse me of condoning child labor. Your friends can donut me all they want.
I'm not hijacking. Your update is a day late and a dollar short. It still distorts Gap's record.
I don't condone child labor. Now go fuck yourself.
"Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."
by homogenius on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:10:13 PM EDT
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Just quoting you since you HR'd me, 136 plants is not an error.