The standards used to define child labor vary significantly from company to company. Income in US dollars For low paid sweatshop worker, so far this year See more. NGOs and foreign governments are also not fully informed about codes of conduct.
In countries like Bangladesh it is even regulated and controlled industries routinely make use of child labour. In the unregulated informal market the problem is even graver. Many children are forced to abandon school in order to help support their families.
While this calls out to us from a humanistic point of view, after all we want these children to enjoy their childhood and be out playing with their friends not worrying about putting the next meal on the table — the real problem is even graver. The minute these kids are denied an education the opportunities available for them in the future becomes much more limited. Often damning them to a life of subsistence work and continuing the cycle of poverty for another generation.
Some children are even removed from their parents or villages and become bonded to employers. Of course, the owner often charges the child for food and accommodations at a higher rate than the worker is paid meaning that the debt can never be paid off and the child will remain perpetually enslaved.
Girls and women from rural villages are especially vulnerable to this type of enslavement. Often they are recruited from the village by someone from the city who promises them steady employment and income if they travel to the city. Faced with few opportunities at home this seems like a dream come true. Of course, from the outside we find their belief naïve, but as with many of these issues people in desperate situations make desperate choices. The basic premise of the scheme is that young girls are recruited from rural villages to work in garment factories with the promise that their pay will be reserved for them and paid out as a dowry upon their marriage.
A practice that is illegal but still widely practiced in many areas of the world. Children are often recruited preferentially into factories because they are seen as compliant and easy to manage. In particular, children who have been removed from their parents are often afraid to question the authority of the factory owners and are unaware of where they can turn to for help or protection.
Brands that apply for accreditation provide information about their manufacturing, components and sourcing, as well as evidence that they do not use child labour. A report is provided and site inspections recommended where EY believe it is necessary. The label is being piloted with five New Zealand fashion brands which have signed up to the fee-paying accreditation system. But can social auditing take on issues with systemic causes and cope with such complex supply chains?
It is a vast industry that did not prevent disasters like Rana Plaza or the Ali Enterprises garment factory fire in Karachi. Ali Enterprises had been given a prestigious SA certificate by Social Accountability International SAI just weeks before it burnt down, killing garment workers. Simon Steyne, head of social partner engagement partnerships and advocacy at IPEC, is sceptical about the ability of social auditing to bring change to fashion supply chains believing instead that: More often than not, these are children whose parents own these cotton fields.
And some children migrate from their villages with their parents to work in the fields. They are taken out of school. An older person who is far taller would have to bend to actually do the plucking. What about companies and consumers? Can they play a role in combating child labor? Consumers can also play a role in ending child labor in the clothing industry. People need to consider both where and how the clothing they buy was made.
Child labour is a particular issue for fashion because much of the supply chain requires low-skilled labour and some tasks are even better suited to children than adults. In cotton picking, employers prefer to hire children for their small fingers, which do not damage the crop. Reports of child labor in Uzbekistan, India, China and Egypt are also found “on a disturbingly large scale,” according to World Vision. Child labor in India’s cotton sector is particularlly prevalent, Anindit Roy Chowdhury, program manager of the C&A Foundation, told TriplePundit. Child Labour in the Fashion Industry. By Yvette Hymann April 27, According to Sofie Ovaa of Stop Child Labour, Fashion Report, many companies are now aware of who their suppliers are at the final stage of manufacturing their clothing. “For most companies, it is at this stage of the supply chain that they have the strongest.