The Apparel Industry and Codes of Conduct: Footnotes
1 International Programme on the Elimination of Child
Labour (IPEC) (Geneva: International Labor Organization) 1996
[hereinafter IPEC Brochure].
2 ILAB's first two reports are titled, By the Sweat
and Toil of Children (Volume I): The Use of Child Labor in U.S.
Manufacturing and Mining Imports (1994), and By the Sweat and
Toil of Children (Volume II): The Use of Child Labor in U.S.
Agricultural Imports & Forced and Bonded Child Labor (1995). In
addition, in March 1996, ILAB published Forced Labor: The
Prostitution of Children, the proceedings of a symposium on the
sexual exploitation of children held at the Department of Labor in
3 See Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and
Appropriations Act of 1996, P.L. 104-134 (April 26, 1996); S. Rpt.
104-145, Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill, 1996.
4 For purposes of this report, the terms "apparel" and
"garment" are used interchangeably.
5 Child Labour: What is to be done? Document for
discussion at the Informal Tripartite Meeting at the Ministerial Level
(Geneva: International Labor Office) ITM/1/1996, June 12, 1996, 26
[hereinafter Child Labour: What is to be done?].
6 See Child Labour: What is to be done? at 27.
7 See Trade, Employment and Labour Standards: A
Study of Core Workers' Rights and International Trade (Paris:
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) May 14, 1996,
8 IPEC Brochure.
9 Child Labour Today: Facts and Figures
(Geneva: International Labor Organization, ILO/CLK/1) June 10, 1996
[hereinafter Child Labour Today: Facts and Figures].
10 Child Labour Today: Facts and Figures.
11 Child Labour Today: Facts and Figures. The ILO is
currently working to develop better statistical information on child
labor. Experimental statistical surveys have been carried out by the ILO
in four countries: Ghana, India, Indonesia and Senegal. See Child
Labour Surveys, Results of methodological experiments in four countries
1992-93 (Geneva: International Labor Office) 1996. The ILO's IPEC
program is now utilizing its survey techniques in other countries --
Turkey, Pakistan and the Philippines (funded by the U.S. Department of
12 Globalization of the footwear, textiles and
clothing industries: Report for discussion at the Tripartite Meeting on
the Globalization of the Footwear, Textiles and Clothing Industries:
Effects on Employment and Working Conditions (Geneva: International
Labor Organization) 1996, 75 [hereinafter ILO Textile Report].
13 In the case of the People's Republic of China --
the second largest exporter of garments to the U. S. in 1995 --
documenting labor practices, including child labor, remains extremely
difficult. The 1994 study noted newspaper reports and other anecdotal
accounts of children 12 to 15 years old working 15 hours a day in
garment factories. It is not known whether there has been any
demonstrable change in the number or situation of child workers in the
Chinese apparel industry.
14 For example, there is a recent report on possible
child labor in a Cambodian garment factory. See American Embassy - Phnom
Penh, unclassified telegram no. 2594, September 16, 1996.
15 In June 1995, the National Labor Committee (NLC)
alleged that more than 100 workers at the Mandarin International garment
manufacturing plant in El Salvador producing garments for The Gap were
between the ages of 14 and 17. Although the employment of the young
workers seemed to comply with Salvadoran law and The Gap's code of
conduct, it was alleged that the young workers were forced to work
longer hours than allowed by law. In December 1995, The Gap signed an
agreement consenting to independent monitoring of its code of conduct.
It also agreed to re-approve the Mandarin factory as a contractor when
the factory could effectively implement The Gap's code. The independent
monitoring group consists of local volunteers from Salvadoran NGOs.
16 In April 1996, the NLC presented testimony at a
Congressional hearing alleging that clothing bearing the Kathie Lee
Gifford label sold at Wal-Mart was made by illegal child labor in
Honduras. The NLC claimed that the Global Fashion factory employed
workers as young as 13 and forced them to work long overtime hours, and
sometimes through the night. The NLC asserted that, during peak
production times, the girls were not permitted to attend night school
because they were forced to stay at work. A letter sent to Ms. Gifford
outlining these allegations, requested her to publicly disavow the use
of child labor and allow independent human rights monitors access to
plants producing Kathie Lee clothing. Ms. Gifford's first response was
to distance herself from the allegations, saying that she had no
knowledge of illegal labor practices and no means to oversee the
employment practices in the overseas production of her clothing. Later,
she announced that she would take responsibility for ensuring that no
children produced garments bearing her label, and encouraged other
companies and celebrity endorsers to do the same. Ms. Gifford has
announced her intention to hire an independent monitor to ensure that
her clothing is made under appropriate labor conditions.
17 U.S. Embassy - Manila unclassified telegram no.
12371, September 17, 1996.
18 In contrast to the Philippines experience, a 1996
ILO study on the textile, clothing and footwear sector notes a trend
towards outsourcing. The ILO reports that this is reflected in the use
of homework and in recourse to moonlighting in small enterprises and
clandestine workshops. Such practices tend to undermine basic employment
and working conditions. See ILO Textile Report at 64.
19 A recent article on labor conditions in Honduran
garment factories states: "Union leaders and workers say factory owners
have also been reviewing their personnel records and dismissing all
employees who are minors. But that does not mean the dismissed
youngsters are returning to school. On the contrary, management and
labor agree that most of the children have instead sought new jobs
outside the assembly sector that are lower paying and more physically
demanding or are buying fake documents in an effort to sneak their way
back into the apparel plants." Larry Rohter, "Hondurans in 'Sweatshops'
See Opportunity," The New York Times, July 13, 1996 [hereinafter
"Hondurans in Sweatshops"].
20 Child Labour: Report to the ILO Committee on
Employment and Social Policy (Geneva: International Labor Office)
ILO Doc. GB.264/ESP/1, November 1995, 18.
21 According to Levi Strauss & Co., its Global
Sourcing & Operating Guidelines adopted in 1991, were the first ever
22 See International Child Labor Hearing
(Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor) June 28, 1996.
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