Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced the release of three revised reports on global child labor and forced labor that were prepared by the department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs. At an event to release the reports, held at U.S. Department of Labor headquarters, Secretary Solis was joined by Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gayle Smith, special assistant to the president and senior director at the National Security Council; and Ian Solomon, U.S. executive director of the World Bank.
"These reports remind us of what happens to the most vulnerable members of society when poverty and labor exploitation unite," said Secretary Solis. "The information in these reports is a vital tool in the effort to stop this abuse and can have an enormous impact in the hands of those who want to join efforts to end these labor practices."
"Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor" is a report mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 that analyzes the worst forms of child labor in 144 foreign countries and territories. The 11th annual edition introduces a tool to assess countries' efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, tracking from year to year whether a country has made significant, moderate, minimal or no advancement.
"The country assessments provide a status update that highlights accomplishments and spotlights remaining challenges," said acting Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Carol Pier. "We hope they inspire governments to redouble their efforts to meet commitments and goals on eliminating the worst forms of child labor."
The "List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor," required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, has been updated to include four new goods (baked goods, beef, fish and thread/yarn) and three new countries (South Sudan, Suriname and Vietnam). The new list has a total 134 goods from 74 countries that ILAB has reason to believe are produced by forced labor, child labor or both in violation of international standards.
In addition, ILAB has proposed a revision to the current "List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor under Executive Order 13126 of 1999," which expands the list to include a total of 35 products from 26 countries, adding four new products (dried fish, wolframite, cattle and fish) and three new countries (Bangladesh, South Sudan and Vietnam). The proposed changes are available for public comment through Nov. 27.
ILAB, foreign governments and nongovernment organizations use these reports to inform policies and develop programs targeting vulnerable children and their families. Over the past decade, ILAB has funded more than 250 projects in more than 90 countries to combat the worst forms of child labor. The agency also conducts research 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 and labor policy objectives.
The reports and answers to frequently asked questions are available at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/. Printed versions of the reports are available from 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. Members of the public also may contact the office by telephone at 202-693-4843, fax at 202-693-4830 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.