I know many Western readers will shy away from this report.
The Gap just scream “America.” To accept the truth of retailers like Gap’s support of global child slavery would require a change in behavior. And that makes us uncomfortable. We want to believe all is right in the world. All is not right in the world.
Even though the Gap was quick to issue a halt to production in the factory in question and call a meeting to reinforce their “no-tolerance” policy regarding child labor, the actions ring hollow to me. So does their assertion that they were unaware that the clothing was being subcontracted to sweatshops using child labor. “Everyone knows factories in Shahpur Jat use child labor – it’s an open secret,” say Puja Sahu, owner of a fashionable boutique in the are where the sweatshop was found. [Time.com]
The continued quest for cheap labor all but requires that America companies turn a blind eye toward human rights violations. It’s impossible for them NOT to understand what is going on in order to reap such low prices. It’s estimated that more than 2o percent of India’s economy is dependent on children. 20 percent!
So, turn away if it makes you feel better. But the truth is clear. American retailers are funding major child labor violations and enabling child slavery. And none of my words on this screen will make a bit of difference. Corporations only respond to damage to their wallets.
Here are links to others writing on this story.
Western readers should definitely not shy away from this report. Slavery today is a big problem – check this out:
Rick… it certainly feels as if the actions of big business are just as cavalier as that spoof report.
Now that just makes me ill.
“Even though the Gap was quick to issue a halt to production in the factory in question and call a meeting to reinforce their “no-tolerance” policy regarding child labor, the actions ring hollow to me.”
So, to summarize, even when a company does the right thing, or at least attempts to, their actions cant be taken seriously, because YOU dont quite believe them?
At least give a solid reason why their ‘actions ring hollow’.
Not to say that this isnt a big issue that needs to be faced, but Im sure a better example could have been found than the company that, according to you, acts quickly and does not stand for child labour.
Mayella… they ring hollow because they’ve made similar promises in the past. And yes, they ring hollow to ME because I don’t quite believe them… my experiences inside very large organizations at top levels of management are what give me that feeling. And it is MY feeling.
This is the perfect example, because they are a company that projects “American” values. I hope, with all hope, that THIS TIME, they follow through and truly do police their Indian factories. History tells me they will, for a time, and then profits and then need to please their investors will take over…. unless WE are vigilant!
Their words ring hollow to ME because they had to know it was happening from the start. Then when the secret is out †hey scurry around like rats trying to look like they are doing something.
The truth is that most big corporations like this don’t even really KNOW, do not have the checks and balances in place to know, what types of things like this they are perpetuating. That in itself is a crime. And when they do know, as Jeff has so clearly outlined here, it is outrageous that we consumers let them get away with it. Someone, sometime, has to care that slavery is alive and well today – and many of us are financing it just as surely as if we were buying a human right off the block.
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