List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor
ILAB maintains a list of products and their source countries which it has a reasonable basis to believe are produced by forced or indentured child labor, pursuant to Executive Order 13126. This List is intended to ensure that U.S. federal agencies do not procure goods made by forced or indentured child labor. Under procurement regulations, federal contractors who supply products on the List must certify that they have made a good faith effort to determine whether forced or indentured child labor was used to produce the items supplied.
The Department of Labor, in consultation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security, publishes and maintains the List. ILAB released its initial List in 2001, and has revised it several times since then. As of July 13, 2022, the EO List comprises 34 products from 26 countries.
The List is required by Executive Order 13126, "Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor." The procurement requirements related to products on the List are set out in a 2001 Federal Acquisition Regulation Final Rule.
ILAB develops the List using criteria and procedures established in its "Procedural Guidelines for the Maintenance of the List of Products Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced or Indentured Child Labor."
There are reports that children as young as age 10 are forced to work in the production of bamboo in Burma. According to the ILO and NGOs, forced child labor is pervasive, particularly in Karen, Shan, and Arakan States near military camps, with children constituting up to 40 percent of forced laborers being used for a variety of activities, including the production of bamboo. Some of these children are sent by their families to fulfill a mandate imposed by the military that requires each household in a village to undertake specified forced labor activities. Villagers, including children, are forced by local officials and the military to work cutting bamboo for the military camps. The forced child laborers are not paid for their work, and face physical violence or other punishment if they refuse to work.
There are reports that children ages 15-17 work under conditions of forced labor in the production of beans in Burma. An NGO study documents children, as well as adults, forced by the military to work on rotation year round, planting and harvesting beans for the military camp. Local officials and the military enforce these work orders; the children cannot refuse to work, even if sick.
There are reports that children are forced to harvest Brazil nuts in Bolivia. Forced child labor in the production of Brazil nuts is known to be found in the Amazon region in particular, and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable. According to international organizations, NGOs, and the U.S. Department of State, many children are forced to work, often with their families, under conditions of bonded labor. Often entire families, including children, are given an advance payment to work in the harvest, and then incur more debt during the harvest. The families are prohibited from leaving, even once the harvest is complete, until their debts are paid off. Sometimes identity papers and wages are withheld as a means to restrict freedom of movement.
There are reports that children are forced by the military to work in the production of bricks in Burma. According to NGOs, forced child labor in brick production is pervasive, particularly in Northern Rakhine State and near military camps. In some cases, children are recruited into the military and forced to live in barracks and work for years in brick production; in other cases, children are sent by their families on rotation to fulfill the military's forced labor mandate for their household. The children are not paid for their work, and they face physical abuse and other punishments for refusing to work or for producing work that is considered of unacceptable quality.
There are reports that children are forced to produce bricks in Cambodia. According to international researchers and NGOs, numerous incidents of forced child labor have been reported in Cambodia. Reports estimate over 9.3 percent of brick workers are children. However, with upwards of tens of thousands of workers employed at brick kilns and the casual nature of work in brick kilns, this number is likely higher. A cycle of multi-generational debt bondage is created when adults are unable to pay back the high interest charged on loans offered by brick kiln owners and are forced to pass along outstanding debts to their children. Children either inherit or are born into debt bondage and are threatened with arrest or are forced to pay additional debt if they try to leave the brick kiln without repaying their debts in full.
There are reports that children, ages 8-17, are forced to produce bricks in China, with concentrations in the Shanxi and Henan provinces. Victims are from provinces across China; some children are abducted or trafficked through coercion and sold to work in brick kilns. Information from media sources and a research study indicate that the children are forced to work without pay under threat of physical violence, held against their will, watched by guards, and denied sufficient food.
There are reports of children working under conditions of forced labor to produce bricks in India's kilns. The most recently available information from a trade union report indicates that in the State of Haryana alone, as many as 40,000 children, many of them forced laborers, are working in brick kilns. Bonded labor in the brick industry is found across India, including in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. The kilns use a system of bonded labor in which children often work alongside other members of their debt-bonded families. Some of these children are forced to work as a guarantee for loans to their parents. Families take an advance payment from recruiters and then are forced to work to pay off the debt; the debt rolls over from one year to the next, binding the worker in a cycle of debt bondage. Children in scheduled castes, a socially disadvantaged class in India, and of migrant families, are particularly vulnerable to forced labor. Some children are forced to work under threat of physical violence. Some children and their families are not paid regularly, do not receive the promised wages, and are prohibited from leaving the worksite.
There are reports that children ages 6-17 and some younger than age 5 are working under conditions of forced labor to produce bricks in Nepal. According to available information from an NGO report, two-thirds of the children are male. Brick kilns are concentrated in the Kathmandu Valley and Terai, and operate seasonally between October and June. According to the most recently available NGO data, between 30,000 and 60,000 children work in Nepal's brick kilns, of which up to 39 percent are working as bonded labor. Migrant families, members of certain castes – a socially disadvantaged class in Nepal – and ethnic minorities, such as Dalit, Janajati, and Madeshi, are particularly vulnerable to bonded labor in brick kilns. Most of the children are from Nepal, however some are from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, India. Many families take advance loans from brick kiln employers or brokers with a commitment to produce a specified quantity of bricks, and become bonded laborers. Their children are bound by their parents' debt and work alongside their families making bricks. The bonded families live at the kiln worksites, without access to safe water or sanitation facilities, and are prohibited from leaving until the debts are paid in full. Some bonded children are forced to work 12 hours a day, and receive little, if any, payment after wage deductions to repay the family debt. Some children are penalized by their employers with verbal or physical abuse.
There are reports that children in Pakistan work under conditions of forced labor producing bricks. According to the most recently available data from the media, the ILO, and a university study, there are hundreds of thousands of these children across Pakistan. The brick industry uses a system of bonded labor under which children, from a very young age, often work alongside their debt-bonded families. Because the debts are sometimes inherited, many children are born into the bonded labor. Under the Pakistani “peshgis” bondage system, families are not free to leave the kiln, and are forced to produce quotas of 1,000 or more bricks per day under threat of physical violence or death. Brick workers, including children, are forced to work without masks, goggles, gloves, shoes, or other safety equipment.