Child labor and forced labor are phenomena that are notoriously difficult to track. However, the U.S. Department of Labor has compiled thousands of pages of research and recently released a study showing what kinds of child and forced labor they have been able to track, in which countries, and for which goods and industries.
The U.S. Department of Labor tracks these data as part of a requirement by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The current list shows child and forced labor being used to source 148 goods across 76 countries (hint: there’s bad news for those of us who enjoy coffee and chocolate).
This latest report includes one new country, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), and ten new goods (amber, bovines, cabbages, carrots, cereal grains, lettuce, mica, peppers, sheep, and sweet potatoes) from particular countries that the Department of Labor has reason to believe are produced with child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards.
As the report says:
“While there has been significant progress over the last two decades, including 94 million fewer child laborers estimated today than there were in 2000, these reports show us that we need to accelerate progress toward ending child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery. This is vital if we are to make trade fair for all.” — R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Secretary of Labor
To learn more about the list, check out this page.
You can download the full report here.
Child Labor Tracking App
You can now download Sweat & Toil, an app to learn more about which goods are produced with child labor or forced labor, and learn about what various countries are doing to eliminate this problem. The App is free from the iTunes or Google Play store and you access the data on the Department of Labor website: https://www.dol.gov/general/ apps/ilab.
Comply Chain that gives best practice guidance for supply chains and helps assess risk and impact.
To keep up to date with news and updates from The Freedom Story, be sure to check out our Latest every Thursday!