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 March 25, 2019, the EO List comprises 34 products from 25 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 nine are forced to work in the production of rubber in Burma. According to reports by NGOs, villagers, including children, are forced to work cultivating rubber plants in nurseries and on plantations for the military camps. Local officials and the military enforce the work orders. The forced child laborers are not paid for their work, and endure physical violence or other punishment if they refuse to work.
There are reports that children are forced to process shrimp in Thailand. Burmese and Cambodian immigrants are particularly vulnerable to forced child labor in the shrimp industry. A UN report identified approximately 150 children working, many alongside their mothers, in Klong Yai district near the Cambodia border. Children are often forced to peel and sort shrimp. Some are forced to work long hours without breaks, physically abused, and prohibited from leaving the worksite. They frequently have their identity documents confiscated by their employers. In some cases, child workers are paid little, if at all, and their wages are deducted to repay debts related to recruitment, food, and/or lodging. The children often endure these conditions under the threat of dismissal and arrest by immigration police.
There are reports that children in India are forced to quarry stones. These children work in stone quarries, mines, and crushers under conditions of bonded labor. According to an assessment by the ILO, as many as 500,000 stone quarry workers, including entire families, in Tamil Nadu were bonded laborers. Families receive an advance payment and become bonded for generations to pay off the debt. Some children are used as a guarantee for the loan and are forced to work to pay it off. Some children inherit the debt of their parents and may be bought and sold between contractors. Children of scheduled castes, a socially disadvantaged class in India, and migrant children, are particularly vulnerable. The children live at the worksite and face isolation and restrictions on their movement. Some children are forced to work under threat of financial penalties or physical violence, receive little pay, and are denied wages.
There are reports that children as young as age five are forced to quarry stones in Nepal. An NGO report and the media indicate that these children work as bonded laborers, often working alongside their parents and other family members in quarries and riverbeds across the country. Families borrow money and are paid too little to escape their debt, remaining in debt bondage. Some children, usually with their families, live at the worksite where they are watched by guards and forbidden from leaving. The children are often forced to perform hazardous work, including carrying heavy loads. Employers threaten to withhold food from the workers, including children. Some children experience physical violence by their employers.
There are reports that children are forced to produce sugarcane in Bolivia. Based on the most recently available data from the ILO, it is estimated that almost a quarter of the migrants working in the sugarcane harvest are children under age 14, of which many are working in conditions of forced labor Many children work with their families under conditions of bonded labor. Entire families, including children, live in accommodations provided by the employer; this dependence on the employer increases their vulnerability to forced labor. The families receive little payment if any, and lodging and food expenses are deducted from their paychecks. Some children inherit the debt of their parents if their parents pass away or stop working, and remain bonded and able to be sold to a different employer.
There are reports that children are forced to work in the production of sugarcane in Burma. Forced child labor is found in the Thaton District, and particularly in areas near military camps. An NGO study documents villagers, including children, mobilized by the dozens each day from multiple villages to work during labor intensive times of the sugarcane production. The children are forced to cut trees and dig out the stumps to prepare the fields, plant the sugarcane, then mill and boil the sugarcane after it is harvested. They are not paid for their work.
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DRC)||
There are reports that children ages 5-17 are forced to work in the production of coltan, or tantalum ore, in some mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reports from the U.S. Department of State and NGOs state that many children have been identified working in conditions of forced labor in the mines in Eastern Congo, particularly in North and South Kivu. Some children are forced to work at the mines with their families in situations of bonded labor, while other children are sent away to the mines by their parents to pay off the family's debt. These children are paid little, if at all. In addition, many mines are controlled by military officers or armed groups, which are known to round up villagers, including children, at gunpoint and force them to work with threats of violence. These forcibly-recruited children do not have freedom of movement and do not receive payment for their work.
There are reports that children are forced to work in the production of teak in Burma. Forced child labor is found on teak plantations in the Thaton District, and particularly in areas near military camps. An NGO study reports that villagers, including children, from multiple villages are regularly mobilized by the military for forced labor to cultivate teak and other crops. The forced laborers are not paid for their work.
There are reports that children, mostly boys as young as seven years old, produce woven textiles under conditions of forced labor in Ethiopia. These children typically work in Addis Ababa, however many come from the south, including Gamo Gofa and Wolaita zones, some of them as victims of trafficking. The trafficked children are often sold to recruiters, and the parents and children are deceived with false promises about the wages and opportunities for education while working. Some of the children sleep at the worksites, held in captivity and isolation, and are not provided with sufficient food. They are punished with physical abuse. Some children are forced to work long hours and overtime, and receive little, if any, pay.
There are reports that children ages 5-17 in Ghana are forced to work in the fishing industry, assisting primarily in the catching of tilapia, but also of such fish as mudfish, silverfish, catfish, latefish, and electric fish. According to the most recently available data from universities, NGOs, government raids, and international organizations, hundreds of children in the Lake Volta region have been rescued from the fishing industry, in which they were forced to undertake such tasks as diving to untangle fishing nets from underwater tree stumps. Children are often trafficked from the Volta, Central, Eastern, or Ashanti regions to Tato and other Lake Volta communities to work. Some of the children forced to work in the fishing industry are working in bonded labor after being sold or sent by their parents under a one- to three-year contract, for which the parents are promised payment on agreed-upon intervals. The children frequently are paid little, if at all, and are forced to work long hours. The children forced to work in the fishing industry often live with their employers, where they face physical violence and are not provided with sufficient food.