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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Bureau of International Labor Affairs

ILAB Press Release: Labor Department to Hold Public Hearing In Continued Probe of International Child Labor [02/11/1998]

For more information call: (202) 219-6373

The Labor Department's International Child Labor Program will hold a public hearing Feb. 13 on specific efforts to reduce child labor in countries with an identified child labor problem. The hearing initiates the department's work to prepare its fifth Congressionally mandated report on child exploitation in providing goods and services imported into the United States.

Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs Andrew Samet, who will chair the hearing, said, "Our work to date has focused on the nature and extent of exploitative child labor in specific industries and countries. We are looking at possible methods and programs to counter the problem. One area where we are increasing our focus is on whether countries with an identified child labor problem are taking steps to eliminate and prevent such abusive employment practices."

Samet heads up the department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB). The International Child Labor Program is part of ILAB.

The report will describe how the growing concern over child exploitation has been translated into specific efforts and activities to combat such abuse in the countries where child labor has been identified. The analysis may include, but not necessarily be limited to, the countries covered in the four previous reports. The scope of the hearing will take in:

specific government policies to reduce child labor, including increased law enforcement, additional investment in child education, changes in child labor laws, partnerships with nongovernmental organizations and participation in international initiatives;

  • significant actions in the nongovernmental sector, including, for example, those efforts noted above and the results of such efforts;
  • additional information, including updated information on areas covered in the previous ILAB reports or new information.

The hearing will be held on Friday, Feb. 13, at the Department of Labor, room N-3437, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Witnesses will include Members of Congress and representatives of child labor groups, trade unions, human rights groups and trade associations.

In the first two reports prepared for Congress, By the Sweat and Toil of Children, Vols. I & II, ILAB documented the use of child labor in the production of goods imported into the United States and situations of forced and bonded child labor. The third report, The Apparel Industry and Codes of Conduct: A Solution to the International Child Labor Problem?, reviewed the use of codes of conduct by U.S. apparel importers and their effectiveness in eliminating child labor in overseas garment factories. Most recently, By the Sweat and Toil of Children, Vol. IV, analyzed voluntary labeling efforts to inform consumers of measures taken to prevent the use of child labor in the production of hand-knotted carpets, leather footwear, soccer balls and tea. All four reports are available on the Internet at or can be obtained from the Child Labor Program at U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Room S-5303, Washington, D.C. 20210; telephone (202)208-4843; fax (202)219-4923.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
February 11, 1998
Media Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number