Child Labor Report 2005|
As has been reported in Chapter II, 36 of the 42 U.S. retailers and
manufacturers of apparel which provided reportable responses to the
Department of Labor voluntary survey stated that they had adopted some sort
of policy prohibiting child labor in overseas production facilities. These
policies takes different forms, from formal public codes of conduct to
provisions banning the use of child labor in contracts between the foreign
producer and the importing U.S. corporation.
The fact that U.S. retailers and manufacturers of apparel have adopted
policies against the use of child labor in the production of garments is a
positive step toward the objective of eliminating the use of child labor.
Clearly, for such policies to be truly effective, there has to be a
commitment on the part of all interested parties to implement them.
Consequently, a central objective of this study is to assess the
implementation practices of U.S. apparel importers that have policies
regarding child labor.
Through the voluntary responses to the survey instrument sent out to
and retailers of
and follow-up phone interviews with respondents, the Department of Labor
learned a great deal about the implementation of codes of conduct from the
perspective of the U.S. companies that import the garments and originate the
codes. Although these companies have generally been cooperative, company
officials responding to the inquiries were not always able to provide
definitive explanations regarding specific aspects of the implementation of
To further review the actual implementation of codes of conduct,
Department of Labor officials visited six countries where there is extensive
production of garments for the U.S. market. This chapter describes the field
visits and summarizes their findings regarding transparency, monitoring and
enforcement of codes of conduct - the primary elements identified in Chapter