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Dept of Labor Says Porn, Fireworks, Diamonds Made With Child Labor

by Rajashri on  September 13, 2009 at 2:38 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
The US Department of Labor said in a report has said in a new report that children are used to produce everything from pornography in Ukraine to fireworks in the Philippines and diamonds in Sierra Leone.
 Dept of Labor Says Porn, Fireworks, Diamonds Made With Child Labor
Dept of Labor Says Porn, Fireworks, Diamonds Made With Child Labor
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The report, published on Thursday, lists 122 goods "produced with forced labor, child labor, or both, in 58 countries" from Afghanistan to North Korea to Uzbekistan.

"Agricultural crops comprise the largest category, followed by manufactured goods and mined or quarried goods," said the report, which was mandated by Congress in 2005, when lawmakers passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Child labor was more common than forced labor, and the goods most often produced by children were cotton, sugar cane, tobacco, coffee, rice, and cocoa in agriculture; bricks, garments, carpets, and footwear in manufacturing; and gold and coal in mined or quarried goods.

Strawberries from Argentina, footwear from Bangladesh, gold and silver from Bolivia, and rubber from Cambodia were brought to international markets with the work of child labor.

Myanmar, which is listed in the report as Burma, used child and forced labor to produce 14 products, ranging from jade to teak wood.

In India, children worked on glass bangles, leather goods and soccer balls; in Pakistan, they are used to make carpets.

And in Russia and Ukraine, the Philippines and Thailand, they were used in the production of pornography.

"The International Labor Organization estimates that over 12 million persons worldwide are working in some form of forced labor or bondage and that more than 200 million children are at work, many in hazardous forms of labor," the report said.

The global economic crisis has "exacerbated the vulnerability" of the most easily exploited workers, including children, women and migrants, it added.

The list was the first of its kind to be published by the US Labor Department.

The main purpose of the list was to raise public awareness about child labor and forced labor and to provide companies and individual consumers with reliable information about the conditions under which goods are produced.

"Most Americans and most consumers in the world market would not choose to purchase goods known to be produced by exploited children or forced laborers at any price," US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a foreword to the report.

"Likewise, most American companies would prefer that their global suppliers respect workers' and children's fundamental rights and provide their employees with working conditions that meet acceptable local standards," she said.

The list was a tool that would help them to translate these values and preferences into day-to-day purchasing decisions, she said.

The investigators who compiled the list did not look for cases of forced or child labor in the United States, although Solis acknowledged that "we face these problems in our own country."

Source: AFP
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