11 New Products Added to List of Goods Produced by Child labor, Forced labor

Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov

A nine-year-old girl sits on a cracked floor in the suffocating heat and humidity of a five-story garment factory. She is almost finished trimming loose threads from shirt sleeves when her 11-year-old friend comes to collect the sleeves, which will be sown into shirts. As they briefly share a laugh, the supervisor smacks their heads and screams at them to get back to work. This day is not much different from any other.

Boy harvesting scallions, Mexicali, Mexico (Stolen Childhoods)
Boy harvesting scallions, Mexicali, Mexico (Stolen Childhoods)

A twelve-year-old boy walks between the long rows of vanilla orchids on a large plantation, hand-pollinating the flowers. He works in sweltering heat during school breaks, and reports to the fields each day after school, working until late at night.

Another boy kneels next to a wooden loom many times his size, reaching up to weave yarn through its threads.  When he finishes, he will eat a meager meal and go to sleep next to the loom, alongside the seven other boys who also live and work there. He is only 10 years old, but he can barely remember his parents through the fog of the drugs his employers provide to keep him docile. Four years ago, his impoverished family took an advance payment from a recruiter in exchange for his labor, and he has remained bonded to this loom ever since.

Although the details of their exploitation may differ, the stark reality of the estimated 168 million child laborers and 21 million forced laborers around the world are the same:  their lives are…

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