Study Claims Many Products Result Of Children Forced Labor

09.11.09 | FL News Team

A report by the Department of Labor indicates a lot of work producing goods around the world is done by children and forced laborers. In compiling its report, requested by Congress, the department reviewed 122 products in 58 countries. It found that India accounts for the largest amount of products made by child labor, including soccer balls and clothing. Myanmar is said to have the most forced labor for products like sugar cane and rubber. International labor standards define child labor as work performed by someone under 15 years of age, or under 18 where work is considered harmful. Forced labor is involuntary or performed under threat.

The Labor Department's Sandra Polaski says the report is intended to make the situation known so more can be done to address the problems. The report also ranks Brazil, Bangladesh, China and the Philippines in the top six on the list. The report states, "Elimination of exploitive child labor or forced labor from a sector of a country requires intensive, sustained commitment by governments, employers, workers and civil society organizations." Some 154 countries ratified an international convention that requires them to establish a minimum working age and to work toward doing away with child labor.