Child Labor and Sweatshops

August 16, 1996 • Volume 6, Issue 31
Do U.S. consumers abet worker exploitation?
By Charles S. Clark


American shoppers may not know it, but many of the name-brand products they purchase - from clothing to carpets to sports equipment - were made under appalling circumstances. Grim reports of worker exploitation contain images straight out of a Charles Dickens novel: children kidnapped and sold into prostitution, or toiling at age four in hazardous worksites alongside adults struggling for subsistence- level wages. Though the bulk of the abuse takes place in Third World countries, Americans were stunned by the recent discovery of virtual slave-labor conditions in garment sweatshops in California and New York City. Now a growing movement of U.S. and international officials, union and business leaders, human rights activists and celebrities has mobilized to challenge these deep-rooted practices.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Child Labor
Aug. 16, 1996  Child Labor and Sweatshops
May 26, 1937  Control of Child Labor
Mar. 03, 1934  The Child Labor Amendment, 1924–1934
Jan. 29, 1925  Status of the Child Labor Amendment
Nov. 21, 1924  The Child Labor Amendment
Child Abuse
Domestic Issues
Labor Standards and Practices