134 goods in 74 countries were reviewed in the U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor for 2012. Check out the List for a detailed record of those products and countries that have reported child labor or forced labor.
“The International Labor Organization (ILO) has produced new global estimates placing the number of people trapped in forced labor at 21 million, including 6 million children forced into labor or sexual exploitation. The ILO also estimates that 215 million children are working as child laborers, of which about 115 million participate in hazardous labor.“
Here is Traffick Free’s Top 10 List of products you may be shopping for this holiday season that could be contributing to labor trafficking worldwide, based on the Department of Labor report:
- Diamonds, Gold, Minerals, Metals & Gems – 90-95% Child Labor (CL), 5-10% Forced Labor (FL) – of 34 countries reported to have used Child and/or Forced Labor
- Cotton, Garments, Leather, Jute, Silk, Textiles, Thread & Yarn – 80-90% CL, 10-20% FL – of 25 countries reported
- Coffee & Tea – 100% Child Labor – of 16 countries reported
- Embellished Textiles, Fashion Accessories & Footwear – 90% CL, 10% FL – of 7 countries reported
- Cocoa/Chocolate – 100% Child Labor – of 6 countries reported
- Nuts & Seeds (Brazil Nuts/Chestnuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Sesame Seeds) – 60-70% CL, 30-40% FL – of 6 countries reported
- Flowers (Real & Artificial) – 50% CL, 50% FL – of 4 countries reported
- Soccer Balls & Toys – 100% Child Labor – of 2 countries reported
- Electronics – Both Child & Forced Labor – of 1 country reported
- Christmas Decorations – Forced Labor – of 1 country reported
Some notable findings:
60% of child labor worldwide is agriculture
Over 55% of the world’s forced laborers are in the South Asia region
The highest concentrations of forced labor in manufactured goods are found in the production of garments and bricks.
Agricultural goods with concentrations of forced labor include: cotton, cattle, and sugarcane.
Manufactured goods such as carpets, fashion accessories, footwear and garments are often made with child labor – developed countries are not exempt!
Goods associated with a notably high concentration of child and/or forced labor include cotton (17 countries), sugarcane (16 countries), coffee (14 countries), cattle (12 countries), rice (eight countries), fish (seven countries) and cocoa (six countries) in the agricultural sector; bricks (18 countries), garments (eight countries), carpets (five countries) and footwear (five countries) in the manufacturing sector; and gold (19 countries), diamonds (seven countries) and coal (seven countries) in the mining/quarrying sector.
With the 2012 update, the List includes 123 goods in the “child labor” category: 58 agricultural goods, 38 manufactured goods and 26 mined/quarried goods, as well as pornography. The relatively large number of agricultural goods produced by child labor is consistent with the ILO estimate that 60 percent of child labor worldwide is in agriculture.
With the 2012 update, the List includes 56 goods in the “forced labor” category: 26 agricultural goods, 18 manufactured goods and 11 mined/quarried goods, as well as pornography. Agricultural goods with notable concentrations of forced labor include cotton (eight countries), cattle (five countries) and sugarcane (five countries). Among manufactured goods, the highest concentrations of forced labor were found in the production of garments (eight countries) and bricks (seven countries).
*A country’s absence from the List does not necessarily indicate that child labor and/or forced labor are not occurring in the production of goods in that country. Data can be unavailable for various reasons, including both research and policy considerations.
*Some countries with relatively large numbers of goods on the List may not have the most serious problems of child labor or forced labor. Often, these are countries that have more openly acknowledged the problems, have better research and have allowed information on these issues to be disseminated. Such countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Zambia. The number of goods on the List from any particular country should not be interpreted as a direct indicator that these countries have the most extensive problems of child labor or forced labor.