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Frequently Asked Questions

Trade and Development Act (TDA)

  1. Why does the Department of Labor prepare this report?
  2. When did the Department of Labor begin issuing reports on the worst forms of child labor?
  3. How is the report prepared?
  4. What changes were instituted with the 2010 TDA report?
  5. How can the report serve as a tool for U.S. policymakers, foreign governments, and the public?
  6. What is the difference between this report and the State Department’s Human Rights Report and Trafficking in Persons Report?
  7. What are the worst forms of child labor?
  8. Does the Department of Labor issue a similar report about the United States?
  9. What is the Department of Labor doing to combat the worst forms of child labor in the United States?

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)

  1. What is the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005? Why is it relevant for the Department of Labor (DOL)?
  2. How have these mandates been carried out?
  3. What definitions of child labor and forced labor are used in developing the List?
  4. How are the December 27, 2007 procedural guidelines used to identify goods to be placed on the List?
  5. Where did DOL find information on goods made with forced labor and child labor?
  6. Why are specific company names not included on the List?
  7. In identifying goods to be placed on the List, what are the criteria regarding the date of source information?
  8. Why are some entries on the List whole product categories, while others are components or raw materials?
  9. In placing goods on the List, does ILAB take into account efforts that are being made to address forced labor and child labor?
  10. How often will the List be updated with new and removed items?
  11. What are the anticipated uses of the List?
  12. If the List indicates that there is both "child labor" and "forced labor" in the production of a certain good in a country, does this mean that there are children working in forced labor conditions in the production of the good?
  13. If the List indicates that there is child labor or forced labor in the production of a good in a country, does this mean that all such goods produced in that country are made with forced labor or child labor?
  14. How can the public obtain copies of the sources used by ILAB to identify goods for the List?
  15. The five criteria listed in the procedural guidelines include "extent of corroboration from various sources," but for some goods, only one source is listed. How was the evidence corroborated?
  16. Why do the goods on the List vary in their level of specificity — e.g. "Stones" in India vs. "Stones (pumice)" in Nicaragua?
  17. Why does the List leave some countries out? Did ILAB conduct research on those countries and find no child labor or forced labor?
  18. Why is the United States not included on the List?
  19. How can the public provide information to support adding goods to or removing goods from the List?
  20. How will the List help governments, employers, workers, and others address problems of forced labor and child labor in their countries and supply chains?
  21. Why does the List include goods produced in the informal or “artisan” sector of production?
  22. Why does the List include goods that are not exported to the United States?

Executive Order 13126

  1. What is Executive Order 13126?
  2. How does EO 13126 define forced or indentured child labor?
  3. What does EO 13126 require from DOL?
  4. How has DOL Implemented EO 13216?
  5. How often is the EO List updated with new and removed items?
  6. How do you determine which products to include on revisions to the EO List?
  7. Have any goods been removed from the EO List?
  8. What data did DOL analyze to make its initial determination on removing charcoal from Brazil from the EO List?
  9. Has DOL received any submissions under EO 13126 alleging products made with forced or indentured child labor?
  10. What is the effect of a product being put on the EO List?
  11. Why was the EO limited to products made with forced or indentured child labor? Why not all child labor?
  12. What procurement is covered by EO 13126? Are purchases by United States embassies and military bases abroad covered?
  13. What are the consequences for countries with products included on the List of products developed under the EO? Will they be penalized?
  14. How can the public provide information to support adding goods to or removing products from the List?
  15. What is the difference between the TVPRA List of Goods and the EO 13126 List of Products?

Trade and Development Act (TDA)

Question #1: Why does the Department of Labor prepare this report?

Answer:

  • The report is prepared in accordance with Section 412(c) of the Trade and Development Act, which requires the Secretary of Labor to make findings on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries to implement their international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

Question #2: When did the Department of Labor begin issuing reports on the worst forms of child labor?

Answer:

  • The Department published the first Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report in 2002, which included information on child labor efforts in 2001. This year's report will be the tenth edition of the Department's Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.

Question #3: How is the report prepared?

Answer:

  • The Department's Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking prepares the report by collecting data from a wide variety of sources, including U.S. embassies and consulates, foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations, and international agencies. In addition, staff conducted field visits to certain countries covered in the report. Since 2008, research conducted in response to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) has also been incorporated in the report. The TVPRA requires, among other things, the Department to develop a List of goods that it has reason to believe are produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards. Under this process, the Department has conducted extensive research on 162 countries.

Question #4: What changes were instituted with the 2010 TDA report?

Answer:

  • In line with the theme of World Day Against Child Labor, the 2010 report Introduction focuses on hazardous child labor. Furthermore, the country profiles include more detail than the 2009 report regarding access to education and the presence of compulsory and free education.
  • Like last year, the 2010 TDA report continues to include major findings related to each government's efforts to address the worst forms of child labor and a set of proposed actions for each government to consider that would address the main deficiencies found in the report.

Question #5: How can the report serve as a tool for U.S. policymakers, foreign governments, and the public?

Answer:

  • DOL seeks to provide timely, relevant information and analysis on the worst forms of child labor that will inform and raise awareness among public and private stakeholders in the U.S. and in each covered country. By providing more analysis and specific recommendations, the redesigned report provides Congress and Executive Branch agencies with useful information to consider when making labor and trade policy. For foreign governments, aid organizations, and civil society groups, the report both recognizes positive efforts by countries and notes areas where action is needed, thus offering a basis for discussion, collaboration, and implementation of targeted efforts to address the most urgent child labor issues facing each country. Finally, where the report demonstrates a need for additional information on specific dimensions of child labor or actions to address it, the report may spur further research and reporting that will enable governments and other stakeholders to better evaluate the impact of their efforts and guide future actions.

Question #6: What is the difference between this report and the State Department’s Human Rights Report and Trafficking in Persons Report?

Answer:

  • The State Department's Human Rights Report contains a short section on child labor, but it focuses on the status of a wide variety of internationally recognized human rights. State's Trafficking in Persons Report provides information on the prosecution and prevention of trafficking as well as protection of trafficking victims, including both adults and children. The Department of Labor's Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor provides information on the incidence and nature of child labor ; child labor laws and their enforcement; and efforts of certain countries to address exploitative child labor. The report also provides information on trafficking of children, not adults, since it is considered to be one of the worst forms of child labor as defined by International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182.

Question #7: What are the worst forms of child labor?

Answer:

  • The worst forms of child labor are defined in the Trade and Development Act and ILO Convention 182 as:
    (A) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, or forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
    (B) the use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic purposes;
    (C) the use, procuring, or offering of a child for illicit activities in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs; and
    (D) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of children.

Question #8: Does the Department of Labor issue a similar report about the United States?

Answer:

  • Since the Trade and Development Act applies to countries eligible for U.S. trade benefits, information on the United States is not included in the report. The Department recognizes, however, that children in this country are exploited in the worst forms of child labor. The Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is the lead agency in enforcing laws regarding child labor in the United States. WHD publishes information on child labor regulations as well as the results of enforcement actions that pertain to child labor. In addition, since 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has prepared an annual report to Congress on U.S. government efforts to combat human trafficking. This report includes information on efforts by various U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Labor, to combat worst forms of child labor such as child prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, and trafficking.

Question #9: What is the Department of Labor doing to combat the worst forms of child labor in the United States?

Answer:

  • DOL is committed to ensuring that U.S. child labor laws are strictly enforced. Since 2009, DOL has added 350 new field investigators to increase enforcement in industries that employ vulnerable workers, including young workers. Every investigation conducted by DOL's WHD has a child labor component. Child labor complaints, although not numerous, are given the highest priority within the agency. Each year, WHD regional and local offices undertake child labor compliance initiatives in a variety of industries, such as grocery stores, shopping malls, theaters, and restaurants . These industries traditionally employ large numbers of young workers and are most likely to have problems with compliance. In 2010, WHD conducted a campaign of targeted investigations to determine whether children were working illegally in agriculture. When violations were found, we issued stiff fines under our new, tougher penalty structure. WHD can assess a civil money penalty of up to $50,000 for each child labor violation that causes the death or serious injury of any employee under the age of 18, and provides that such penalty may be increased up to $100,000 when that violation is determined to be repeated or willful.
  • The FLSA establishes an 18-year minimum age for non-agricultural occupations that the Secretary of Labor declares to be particularly hazardous or detrimental to children's health or well­being. There are currently 17 Hazardous Occupation Orders for non-agriculture, which include a partial or total ban on the occupations or industries they cover. On September 2, 2011, DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting public comment on proposals to strengthen the protections for young hired farm workers by updating and adding to the 11 current agricultural hazardous occupation orders. DOL also proposes to add two new nonagricultural hazardous occupations orders. For more information, please see http://www.dol.gov/whd/CL/AG_NPRM.htm.

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)

Question #1: What is the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005? Why is it relevant for the Department of Labor (DOL)?

Answer:

  • The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005, Public Law 109-164 (2006), mandates among other things that ILAB "carry out additional activities to monitor and combat forced labor and child labor in foreign countries." See 22 U.S.C. § 7112. These additional activities are:
    (A) Monitor the use of forced labor and child labor in violation of international standards;
    (B) Provide information regarding trafficking in persons for the purpose of forced labor to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking of the Department of State for inclusion in [the] trafficking in persons report required by section 110(b) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7107(b));
    (C) Develop and make available to the public a list of goods from countries that ILAB has reason to believe are produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards;
    (D) Work with persons who are involved in the production of goods on the list described in subparagraph (C) to create a standard set of practices that will reduce the likelihood that such persons will produce goods using the labor described in such subparagraph; and
    (E) Consult with other departments and agencies of the United States government to reduce forced and child labor internationally and ensure that products made by forced labor and child labor in violation of international standards are not imported into the United States.

Question #2: How have these mandates been carried out? 

Answer:

  • Responses are provided below to each of the five TVPRA requirements.
    • ILAB staff conducts research on child labor and forced labor, which includes funding for contracts and grants to research child labor and forced labor in the production of goods internationally. ILAB's Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking (OCFT) periodically publishes public requests for information on forced labor and child labor in the production of goods internationally, as well as information on government, industry or third-party efforts to combat these problems. Public submissions continue to be received and reviewed on an ongoing basis. ILAB also held a public hearing to receive evidence on these issues on May 28, 2008.
    • ILAB shares information and resources and coordinate activities to combat forced labor and human trafficking with the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, and other U.S. government partners.
    • ILAB published its initial List on September 10, 2009, containing 122 goods from 58 countries produced by child labor, forced labor, or both. On December 15, 2010 , ILAB published the first update to the initial List, including 6 new goods from 12 new countries, for totals of 128 goods from 70 countries. On October 3, 2011, ILAB published another update to the TVPRA report, adding 2 new goods and 1 new country. The current list includes 130 goods from 71 countries.
      In order to compile a credible List that is as comprehensive as possible, ILAB developed a draft research methodology and published it in the Federal Register on October 1, 2007, with a request for public comment. Public comments were integrated, as appropriate, into ILAB's final procedural guidelines, which can be found at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-25036.pdf. During the 2008-2009 research period, ILAB staff carried out comprehensive desk reviews to gather all publicly available information on labor conditions in the production of thousands of goods in 77 selected countries. During the 2009-2010 research period, ILAB staff carried out the same review on an additional 39 countries. During the 2010-2011 research period, ILAB staff reviewed an additional 60 countries, non-independent countries and territories, completing an initial examination of most countries in the world. ILAB relied on a wide variety of materials originating from its own research, other U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments, international organizations and NGOs, U.S. Government-funded technical assistance and field research projects, academic research, independent researchers, the media and others. The Department of State and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad provided important information by gathering data from key contacts, conducting site visits and reviewing local media sources.
    • ILAB is consulting with U.S. government partners, foreign governments, industry representatives, employers and other interested stakeholders to develop and disseminate a standard set of practices to combat the use of forced labor and child labor in the production of goods internationally.
    • Prior to publishing the initial List and each update, ILAB consults extensively with relevant U.S. government agencies.

1 Codified as section 7103(b) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). 22 U.S.C. 7103(b).


Question #3: What definitions of child labor and forced labor are used in developing the List?

Answer:

  • "Child labor" under international standards means all work performed by a person below the age of 15. It also includes all work performed by a person below the age of 18 in the following practices: (A) All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, or forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; (B) the use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic purposes; (C) the use, procuring, or offering of a child for illicit activities in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs; and (D) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of children. The work referred to in subparagraph (D) is determined by the laws, regulations, or competent authority of the country involved, after consultation with the organizations of employers and workers concerned, and taking into consideration relevant international standards. This definition will not apply to work specifically authorized by national laws, including work done by children in schools for general, vocational or technical education or in other training institutions, where such work is carried out in accordance with international standards under conditions prescribed by the competent authority, and does not prejudice children's attendance in school or their capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
  • "Forced labor" under international standards means all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily, and includes indentured labor. "Forced labor" includes work provided or obtained by force, fraud, or coercion, including: (1) By threats of serious harm to, or physical restraint against any person; (2) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if the person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or (3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or the legal process. For purposes of this definition, forced labor does not include work specifically authorized by national laws where such work is carried out in accordance with conditions prescribed by the competent authority, including: any work or service required by compulsory military service laws for work of a purely military character; work or service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the citizens of a fully self-governing country; work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations; work or service required in cases of emergency, such as in the event of war or of a calamity or threatened calamity, fire, flood, famine, earthquake, violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by animal, insect or vegetable pests, and in general any circumstance that would endanger the existence or the well-being of the whole or part of the population; and minor communal services of a kind which, being performed by the members of the community in the direct interest of the said community, can therefore be considered as normal civic obligations incumbent upon the members of the community, provided that the members of the community or their direct representatives have the right to be consulted in regard to the need for such services.

Question #4: How are the December 27, 2007 procedural guidelines used to identify goods to be placed on the List?

Answer:

  • The procedural guidelines list the following five principal criteria for evaluating information:
    • Nature of the information;
    • Date of the information;
    • Source of the information;
    • Extent of corroboration from various sources; and
    • Whether the information indicates a significant incidence of child labor, forced labor, or forced child labor in the production of the good.
  • In the December 27, 2007, Federal Register notice, these five criteria are discussed in greater detail. See 72 Fed. Reg. 73374 (Dec. 27, 2007). These criteria are used in evaluating all information relevant to goods produced with child labor and forced labor in violation of international standards, to formulate the List.

Question #5: Where did DOL find information on goods made with forced labor and child labor?

Answer:

  • In compiling its initial List, DOL gathered and analyzed research from a variety of sources including a public request for information, a Public Hearing held at DOL on May 28, 2008 (transcript available at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/pdf/20080423g.pdf), and additional, extensive research by staff and contractors. For each good that appears on the List, DOL has made available a list of the sources (articles, reports, publications, communications, etc.) that were relied upon in reaching the determination. These bibliographies can be found on the ILAB Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/programs/ocft/tvpra.htm.

Question #6: Why are specific company names not included on the List?

Answer:

  • The TVPRA mandated a List of goods and countries, not company or industry names. It would be difficult for ILAB to attempt to track the identity of every company and industry using a good produced with child labor or forced labor. In addition, it is the Department's experience that child labor and forced labor frequently occur in small local enterprises, for which company names, if they are available, have little relevance. Consequently, ILAB has concluded that seeking to track and name individual companies would be highly resource-intensive and of limited practical value. Moreover, holding individual violators accountable would exceed ILAB's mandate under the TVPRA of 2005.

Question #7: In identifying goods to be placed on the List, what are the criteria regarding the date of source information?

Answer:

  • Under its procedureal guidelines, ILAB may consider information up to seven years old at the time of receipt, although in the 2010-2011 research period ILAB chose to use information no more than 5 years old. More current information has been generally given priority, and information older than seven years generally has not been considered, with the exception of child labor survey data, which ILAB has found to be reliable over a longer period of time. ILAB's experience is that the use of child labor and forced labor in a country or in the production of a particular good typically persists for many years, particularly when no meaningful action is taken to combat it. Information about such exploitive activities is often actively concealed. Information that is several years old therefore can still provide useful context for more current information.

Question #8: Why are some entries on the List whole product categories, while others are components or raw materials?

Answer:

  • In determining which goods and countries are to be placed on the List, ILAB takes into consideration the stages in the chain of a good's production, as appropriate. Whether a good is placed on the List may depend on the stage of production in which child labor or forced labor was used. For example, if child labor or forced labor was only used in the extraction, harvesting, assembly, or production of raw materials or component articles, and these materials or articles are subsequently used under non-violative conditions in the manufacture or processing of a final good, only the raw materials/component articles and the country/ies where they were extracted, harvested, assembled, or produced, as appropriate, will be placed on the List. If child labor or forced labor was used in both the production or extraction of raw materials/component articles and the manufacture or processing of a final good, then both the raw materials/ component articles and the final good, and the country/ies in which such labor was used, will be placed on the List. This is to ensure a direct correspondence between the goods and countries which appear on the List, and the use of child labor or forced labor.

Question #9: In placing goods on the List, does ILAB take into account efforts that are being made to address forced labor and child labor?

Answer:

  • Information on government, industry, or third-party actions and initiatives to combat child labor or forced labor is taken into consideration, although they are not necessarily sufficient in and of themselves to prevent a good and country from being listed. ILAB takes into consideration efforts that have been effective in significantly reducing if not eliminating forced labor and/or child labor from a particular industry or industries.

Question #10: How often will the List be updated with new and removed items?

Answer:

  • The List will be updated on a periodic basis, depending on the nature and extent of information received through the "maintenance" process spelled out in the procedural guidelines, and as additional information becomes available.

Question #11: What are the anticipated uses of the List?

Answer:

  • The purpose of the List is to promote awareness and increased efforts to eliminate forced labor and child labor in the production of goods.

Question #12: If the List indicates that there is both “child labor” and “forced labor” in the production of a certain good in a country, does this mean that there are children working in forced labor conditions in the production of the good?

Answer:

  • Not necessarily. Child labor and forced labor have different definitions. For each good and country, the List specifies whether there is evidence of child labor, forced labor, or both. If the List indicates forced labor is used in the production of a particular good, this could indicate forced labor of adults, forced labor of children, or both. If the List indicates child labor is used in the production of a good, this could indicate child labor but not forced child labor, even where forced adult labor is used in the production of that good. The TVPRA did not require the inclusion of information on forced child labor in the List.

Question #13: If the List indicates that there is child labor or forced labor in the production of a good in a country, does this mean that all such goods produced in that country are made with forced labor or child labor? 

Answer:

  • No. Within any industry in any given country, there are companies that operate within the law, and those that willfully employ exploitative and illegal labor practices such as forced labor and child labor. An entry on the List merely indicates that that there is a significant incidence of child labor or forced labor in the production of a good in the country.

Question #14: How can the public obtain copies of the sources used by ILAB to identify goods for the List?

Answer:

  • Many of the sources contain URLs so that they can easily be found on the Internet. When URLs are not provided, the public should request copies of sources from the author or organization that published it. Sources that must be obtained directly from ILAB (such as ILAB-funded research reports) may be requested from ILAB, and many are available on ILAB's Web site.

Question #15: The five criteria listed in the procedural guidelines include “extent of corroboration from various sources,” but for some goods, only one source is listed.  How was the evidence corroborated?

Answer:

  • "Extent of corroboration" was one of several criteria used to judge goods and countries. In a few cases, a single source was considered sufficient because it was exceptionally strong and credible, clearly established the nature of the forced or child labor situation, and clearly established the significance of the problem.

Question #16: Why do the goods on the List vary in their level of specificity - e.g. “Stones” in India vs. “Stones (pumice)” in Nicaragua?

Answer:

  • Goods are listed at the greatest possible level of specificity, given the available information. ILAB welcomes additional information from interested parties that provides greater detail on the goods listed.

Question #17: Why does the List leave some countries out?  Did ILAB conduct research on those countries and find no child labor or forced labor?

Answer:

  • If a country does not appear on ILAB's List, this does not necessarily mean that there is no child labor or forced labor in the production of goods. In some countries, adequate data on child labor and forced labor is not available. ILAB staff receives new information on forced labor and child labor on a regular basis, and will continue to review information on the countries that already appear on the List as well as countries that are not yet listed. Consequently, more countries and goods may be added to the List as new information comes to light.

Question #18: Why is the United States not included on the List?

Answer:

  • Coverage of domestically-produced goods is beyond the TVPRA mandate, thus, ILAB did not conduct research on the United States. However, DOL recognizes that both child labor and forced labor occur in the United States. DOL is committed to ensuring that U.S. child labor laws are strictly enforced . Since 2009, DOL has added 350 new field investigators to increase enforcement in industries that employ vulnerable workers, including young workers. Every investigation conducted by DOL's WHD has a child labor component. Child labor complaints, although not numerous, are given the highest priority within the agency. Each year, WHD regional and local offices undertake child labor compliance initiatives in a variety of industries , such as grocery stores, shopping malls, theaters, and restaurants. These industries traditionally employ large numbers of young workers and are most likely to have problems with compliance.In 2010, WHD conducted a campaign of targeted investigations to determine whether children were working illegally in agriculture. When violations were found, we issued stiff fines under our new, tougher penalty structure. WHD can assess a civil money penalty of up to $50,000 for each child labor violation that causes the death or serious injury of any employee under the age of 18, and provides that such penalty may be increased up to $100,000 when that violation is determined to be repeated or willful.
  • The FLSA establishes an 18-year minimum age for non-agricultural occupations that the Secretary of Labor declares to be particularly hazardous or detrimental to children's health or well­being. There are currently 17 Hazardous Occupation Orders for non-agriculture, which include a partial or total ban on the occupations or industries they cover. On September 2, 2011, DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting public comment on proposals to strengthen the protections for young hired farm workers by updating and adding to the 11 current agricultural hazardous occupation orders. DOL also proposes to add two new nonagricultural hazardous occupations orders. The last day for public comment on the proposed rule is November 1, 2011. For more information, please see http://www.dol.gov/whd/CL/AG_NPRM.htm.
  • With regard to forced labor, there are likely thousands of people trapped in forced labor across the United States. WHD investigators are trained to recognize potential situations in which workers may have been exploited, and to refer these situations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. WHD specifically targets low-wage industries, where forced labor is most likely to be found.

Question #19: How can the public provide information to support adding goods to or removing goods from the List?

Answer:

  • ILAB seeks studies, reports, statistics, news articles, electronic media, or other sources that establish the presence or absence of a significant incidence of child labor or forced labor in the production of a particular good in a country. ILAB also welcomes information on government, industry, or third-party efforts that have been effective in combating these problems. Where applicable, information submissions should indicate their source or sources, and copies of the source material should be provided. If primary sources are utilized, such as research studies, interviews, direct observations, or other sources of quantitative or qualitative data, details on the research or data-gathering methodology should be provided. Classified information will not be accepted. Please refer to the "Procedures for the Maintenance of the List" section of the procedural guidelines for further details and submission instructions. Information can also be sent at any time to ilab-tvpra@ILAB.gov.

Question #20: How will the List help governments, employers, workers, and others address problems of forced labor and child labor in their countries and supply chains?

Answer:

  • Publicizing information on forced labor and child labor in the production of goods will help governments, employers, workers, and others target such practices with specific programs, including stronger enforcement and improved supply chain management. The better these problems are understood, the more effectively they can be addressed.

Question #21: Why does the List include goods produced in the informal or “artisan” sector of production?

Answer:

  • In compliance with the scope of the TVPRA mandate, ILAB's research focused on all economic activity in the production of goods. Economic activity includes all formal and informal sector production of goods, including goods produced just for personal and family consumption. Examples of informal sector activity include casual day-labor hired without contract; small-scale farming and fishing; artisanal mining and quarrying; and manufacturing work performed in home-based workshops. The production of illicit goods is included in these informal economic activities but the appearance of such goods on the List is not intended to condone or legitimize these goods or forms of work.

Question #22: Why does the List include goods that are not exported to the United States?

Answer:

  • ILAB's research focused on all economic activity in the production of goods. Much child labor occurs in small-scale production of goods for local consumption, not in production of goods for the international market. Adequate data is not available on consumption patterns of goods made with forced labor. In many cases, ILAB did not have information about the ultimate consumers of the goods under review, and tracing goods from production to consumption is beyond the mandate of the TVPRA.

Executive Order 13126

Question #1: What is Executive Order 13126?

Answer:

  • Executive Order (EO) 13126 ("Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor") was signed by President Clinton on June 12, 1999. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that federal agencies enforce laws relating to forced or indentured child labor in the procurement process. That goal is consistent with current laws that, among other things, outlaw the importation of products made with forced or indentured child labor.
  • Under procurement regulations implementing the EO, federal contractors who supply products on a list published by the Department of Labor (DOL) must certify that they have made a good faith effort to determine whether forced or indentured child labor was used to produce the items listed. Additional information on EO 13126 can be found on DOL's Web site at: http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm.

Question #2: How does EO 13126 define forced or indentured child labor?

Answer:

  • Under Section 6(c) of EO 13126, "Forced or indentured child labor" means all work or service:
    (1) exacted from any person under the age of 18 under the menace of any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily; or
    (2) performed by any person under the age of 18 pursuant to a contract the enforcement of which can be accomplished by process or penalties.

Question #3: What does EO 13126 require from DOL?

Answer:

  • The EO requires DOL, in consultation and cooperation with the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS)1 and State (DOS), to publish a list of products, identified by their country of origin, that those Departments have a reasonable basis to believe might have been mined, produced, or manufactured by forced or indentured child labor (EO List).

1EO 13126 refers to consultation and cooperation between DOL and the Departments of State and Treasury. However, with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, responsibilities relating to EO 13126 shifted from Treasury to Homeland Security.


Question #4: How has DOL Implemented EO 13216?

Answer:

  • Pursuant to the EO, and following public notice and comment, DOL published a final List of products, identified by their country of origin, in the January 18, 2001 Federal Register. The EO List includes products that DOL, in consultation and cooperation with the Departments of State and Treasury, had a reasonable basis to believe might have been mined, produced or manufactured with forced or indentured child labor.
  • In addition to the EO List, DOL also published on January 18, 2001, a notice of procedural guidelines for maintaining, reviewing, and, as appropriate, revising the EO List. See 66 Fed. Reg. 5351. A copy of the procedural guidelines is available on DOL's Web site at: http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm.
  • Pursuant to the procedural guidelines, the EO List may be revised through consideration of submissions by individuals or through DOL's own initiative. Based on both public submissions and DOL's own initiative, DOL issued an initial determination on September 10, 2009, announcing proposed alterations to the EO List. A September 11, 2009 Federal Register notice requested public comments for a period of 90 days. After thorough review of the public comments received, DOL, in consultation and cooperation with DHS and DOS, issued a final determination in the Federal Register on July 20, 2010 updating the EO List.
  • On December 16, 2010, DOL published another notice of initial determination to add one good and remove one good from the list, requesting public comment on these revisions. These two revisions were finalized in a May 31, 2011 final determination, bringing the total list to 29 goods from 21 countries.
  • On October 4, 2011, DOL issued an initial determination in the Federal Register proposing the addition of 2 new goods and 2 new countries to the EO List. With these proposed changes, the EO List would have 31 goods from 23 countries. The initial determination requests public comments for a period of 60 days.

Question #5: How often is the EO List updated with new and removed items?

Answer:

  • The List is updated on a periodic basis, depending on the nature and extent of information received through the process spelled out in the procedural guidelines, and as additional information becomes available.

Question #6: How do you determine which products to include on revisions to the EO List?

Answer:

  • DOL relies on a wide variety of materials originating from its own research, other U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), U.S. Government-funded technical assistance and field research projects, academic research, independent researchers, the media, and others. DOS and U.S. embassies and consulates gather data from key contacts, conducting site visits, and reviewing local media sources. Comprehensive desk reviews are carried out to gather all publicly available information on labor conditions in the production of thousands of products. Additional information is sought from the public through Federal Register notices and as necessary, through public hearings. Additionally, DOL reviews all information received through public submission and comment.
  • Much of this information was assembled from DOL's research for its congressionally mandated annual report on the findings on the worst forms of child labor, as well as DOL's research for its mandate under the 2005 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) to publish a list of goods that DOL's Bureau of International Labor Affairs "has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards."
  • Per the procedural guidelines, in evaluating information for inclusion of a product on the EO List, DOL, in consultation with DHS and DOS, considered and weighed several factors including:
    • the nature of the information describing the use of forced or indentured child labor;
    • the source of the information;
    • the date of the information;
    • the extent of corroboration of the information by appropriate sources;
    • whether the information involved more than an isolated incident; and
    • whether recent and credible efforts are being made to address forced or indentured child labor in a particular country or industry.

Question #7: Have any goods been removed from the EO List?

Answer:

  • Yes. After the July 2010 update to the List, DOL received recent, credible and appropriately corroborated information from various sources on the use of forced or indentured child labor in charcoal production in Brazil. This information indicates that while children previously worked under forced labor conditions in charcoal production, the problem has been significantly reduced if not eliminated. In addition, the Government of Brazil appears to have established mechanisms to effectively address and respond to cases of forced child labor in charcoal production. Therefore, the Departments of Labor, State and Homeland Security have concluded that the use of forced or indentured child labor in the production of charcoal from Brazil has been significantly reduced, and have removed it from the List.

Question #8: What data did DOL analyze to make its initial determination on removing charcoal from Brazil from the EO List?

Answer:

  • DOL reviewed data from the Government of Brazil that indicates that, from January 2007 to September 2010, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) conducted 1,924 labor inspections in 23 states and found no child under 18 working under forced labor conditions in charcoal production. To corroborate the Brazilian Government's data, DOL accessed information publicly available since the end of the previous research period (2008-2010) and spoke with a number of stakeholders actively engaged in forced labor issues in the charcoal sector. These sources, which included the ILO, Reporter Brasil, the Citizens' Charcoal Institute (ICC) and the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), indicate that forced child labor in the production of charcoal has been significantly reduced if not eliminated. Both the CPT and ICC provided monitoring data to support these claims, although the CPT data differs slightly from the Government's data. The CPT, which receives complaints of forced labor cases, carries out independent forced labor monitoring and also refers cases to the MTE's Special Mobile Inspection Unit (GEFM), reported that from June 2008 to August 2010 it submitted five complaints of forced labor in charcoal to MTE that involved 76 victims, including 10 children. Thus, while it appears that there continue to be isolated cases of forced child labor, the Government has established mechanisms to address and respond to such cases. The ICC, which independently monitors labor conditions in charcoal enterprises in the states of Pará, Maranhão, Tocantins and Piauí, has carried out 2,793 inspections in 158 municipalities, registered 145,917 charcoal kilns, and reached out to more than 52,000 charcoal workers. It found no evidence of forced child labor in these businesses.
  • Additionally, the Government of Brazil has developed a comprehensive approach to combat forced labor, including forced child labor that includes robust policies and legislation, strong enforcement efforts, allocation of financial resources, and programs to assist victims of forced labor. For example, legislation requires fines and imprisonment of four to twelve years for the use of forced child labor, and the Government provides financial and employment assistance to victims of forced labor. The Government is currently implementing its Second National Plan to Combat Forced Labor and also has established a National Agreement to Eradicate Forced Labor, which involves more than 130 parties whose efforts are monitored and tracked online. Brazil also publishes a "Dirty List" (Lista Suja) of forced labor cases, including the names of companies and property owners who employ workers under forced labor conditions. Further, GEFM performs on-site investigations of forced labor cases. GEFM is composed of teams of labor inspectors, Labor Public Ministry attorneys and members of the National Police. Currently, more than 100 labor inspectors are part of this inspection unit. To resolve such cases, GEFM has the right to initiate formal charges, to settle the complaint at the scene of the crime and to levy fines. Such fines are used to enhance enforcement efforts, undertake preventative efforts and to provide services to forced labor victims, including children.
  • It is important to note that information obtained by DOL indicates that adult forced labor and child labor that is not forced is still occurring in the production of charcoal. Therefore, while DOL, DOS and DHS removed charcoal from Brazil from the EO 13126 List, it will continue to be included on The Department of Labor's List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

Question #9: Has DOL received any submissions under EO 13126 alleging products made with forced or indentured child labor?

Answer:

  • In 2001, DOL received two submissions alleging the use of forced child labor in China. One was rejected for official review because it failed to provide sufficient evidence to meet the minimum standard of evidence. The other was accepted for official review, but no additions to the EO List were made due to the lack of recent, credible and appropriately corroborated information.
  • Also in 2001, DOL accepted for review a submission alleging conditions of forced child labor in the cocoa industry in Côte d'Ivoire. On May 10, 2004, DOL released a Federal Register notice notifying the public of its intent to continue monitoring the production of cocoa in Cote d'Ivoire, as well as requesting information regarding forced child labor in the cocoa industry in Cote d'Ivoire. Based on monitoring and additional information, cocoa from Cote d'Ivoire was included as an addition to the EO List in the notice of final determination published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2010.
  • In 2007, DOL accepted for review an allegation of forced child labor in China in the production of bricks, tiles, coal, foundry products, chemicals, cotton, grape products, toys, and fireworks. Based on research and additional information collected, bricks, cotton, electronics and toys were included as an addition to the EO List in the notice of final determination published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2010. Tiles, coal, foundry products, chemicals, grape products and fireworks were not included as an addition to the EO List due to the lack of recent, credible and appropriately corroborated information.

Question #10: What is the effect of a product being put on the EO List?

Answer:

  • Pursuant to Section 3 of the EO, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Councils published a final rule in the Federal Register on January 18, 2001, providing that federal contractors who supply products that appear on the EO List issued by DOL must certify to the contracting officer that the contractor has made a good faith effort to determine whether forced or indentured child labor was used to mine, produce or manufacture any end product furnished under the contract and that, on the basis of those efforts, the contractor is unaware of any such use of child labor.
  • The regulation also imposes other requirements with respect to contracts for products on DOL's EO List. The following remedies are available for violations relating to the requirements outline above: termination of the contract, suspension of the contractor; or debarment of the contractor for a period not to exceed 3 years. See 48 CFR 22.1504(b). These requirements are primarily enforced by the General Services Administration; DOL has no enforcement authority related to the procurement requirements.

Question #11: Why was the EO limited to products made with forced or indentured child labor? Why not all child labor?

Answer:

  • DOL undertakes efforts on several fronts to address child labor globally, including research on child labor, administration of international technical cooperation programs to combat child labor, and raising awareness on the topic. The EO List is just one piece of DOL's global efforts. The EO was designed to be consistent with current U.S. law, which prohibits the importation of products made with forced or indentured labor.

Question #12: What procurement is covered by EO 13126? Are purchases by United States embassies and military bases abroad covered?

Answer:

  • The EO applies to all purchases made by the Federal government, both domestically and in overseas facilities including military bases and embassies. However, there are general exceptions that apply, as outlined in 48 CFR Subpart 22.15.

Question #13: What are the consequences for countries with products included on the List of products developed under the EO? Will they be penalized?

Answer:

  • The EO only affects federal procurement. It is designed to make sure that federal agencies do not buy products made with forced or indentured child labor. The EO reinforces the current law (the Tariff Act, enforced by the DHS) prohibiting importation of products made with forced or indentured child labor.
  • There is nothing in the EO that provides for trade sanctions or penalties against countries. Current federal law already prohibits importing goods made with forced or indentured child labor. The EO is not intended to prohibit federal agencies from buying a product that appears on the EO List published by DOL. Instead, it requires federal contractors who furnish such a product to make certifications designed to help ensure that forced or indentured child labor was not, in fact, used to make the product.

Question #14: How can the public provide information to support adding goods to or removing products from the List?

Answer:

  • DOL seeks studies, reports, statistics, news articles, electronic media, or other sources that establish the presence or absence of a significant incidence of forced or indentured child labor in the production of a particular product in a country. DOL also welcomes information on government, industry, or third-party efforts that demonstrate that such efforts have significantly reduced if not eliminated the problem. Where applicable, information submissions should indicate their source or sources, and copies of the source material should be provided. If primary sources are utilized, such as research studies, interviews, direct observations, or other sources of quantitative or qualitative data, details on the research or data-gathering methodology should be provided. Classified information will not be accepted. Please refer to "Section D. How May a Person Submit Information to the Office Regarding Adding or Deleting a Product From the List?" of the procedural guidelines for further details and submission instructions. Information can also be sent to EO13126@dol.gov.

Question #15: What is the difference between the TVPRA List of Goods and the EO 13126 List of Products?

Answer:

  • The EO is intended to ensure that federal agencies enforce laws relating to forced or indentured child labor in the procurement process. Thus the EO List differs from the TVPRA List, which is intended to promote efforts to monitor and combat forced labor and child labor in the production of goods in foreign countries. The EO on federal procurement applies only to the goods on the EO List, not to those on the TVPRA List. In addition, the EO List covers forced or indentured child labor, while the TVPRA List focuses on a broader population, including adults in forced labor and children in exploitive labor that is not necessarily forced or indentured.