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Child Labor

February 19, 2005 | From Associated Press
Labor Department Inspector General Gordon S. Heddell said he would review a $135,540 settlement the department reached with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, over accusations that the company violated child labor laws. The inquiry was sought by Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez). He had criticized the deal made public Feb.
February 17, 2005 | From Associated Press
Calling a federal settlement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. a sweetheart deal, Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday that he would ask other states to join in investigating allegations that the world's largest retailer broke child labor laws. Wal-Mart agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal child-labor charges, the Labor Department said last weekend.
February 14, 2005 | Tom Harkin and Eliot L. Engel, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services and education. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) is a member of the House International Relations Committee.
On Valentine's Day, there will be no chocolate gifts for young Aly Diabate. "I don't know what chocolate is," said Aly, who was forced into slavery at age 11 to harvest cocoa beans in Ivory Coast. Aly's ignorance of chocolate is forgivable. Like tens of thousands of other child slaves on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast, he subsists on a diet of corn paste and bananas. Less forgivable is the fact that chocolate lovers in the West have been kept in the dark about these harsh realities.
February 13, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, will pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it broke child labor laws, the Labor Department said. The 24 violations, which occurred at stores in Arkansas, Connecticut and New Hampshire, had to do with teenage workers who used hazardous equipment such as a chain saw, paper balers and forklifts. Wal-Mart denied the allegations but agreed to pay the penalty. Child labor laws prohibit anyone under 18 from operating hazardous equipment.
June 11, 2004 | From Associated Press
An estimated 10 million children worldwide are forced to work in slave-like conditions as domestic servants in private homes, the U.N.'s labor agency said Thursday. The International Labor Organization said in a new report that in parts of West Africa, Central America and Asia, thousands of girls as young as 8 work 15 or more hours a day, seven days a week, for little or no pay.
January 30, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Ugandan rebel leaders who have exploited thousands of kidnapped children as soldiers or sex slaves will be the target of the first investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the chief prosecutor said. The world's only permanent war crimes tribunal won jurisdiction for its first case when Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asked it to investigate possible crimes against humanity by the Lord's Resistance Army.
November 24, 2003 | Evelyn Iritani and Nancy Cleeland, Times Staff Writers
Safe working conditions. Reasonable hours. No child labor. These are among the rules that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers imposed on their foreign contractors after a series of scandals in the 1990s. Yet just how well Wal-Mart's contractors abide by its standards is something of a mystery -- and a source of controversy. Unlike other retailers, Wal-Mart refuses to open its suppliers' factories to independent inspections. That prompted Domini Investments, which runs a "socially responsible" mutual fund, to dump its 1.3 million Wal-Mart shares in 2001.
October 17, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Seventy-four boys ranging in age from 4 to 15 were rescued from Nigerian granite quarries where they had been forced to work, officials said. Their torsos scarred from beatings, they were receiving medical treatment in the Beninese city of Cotonou. The children told authorities that over the previous three months at least 13 other boys had died, succumbing to exhaustion, disease, hunger and abuse.
August 26, 2003 | Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
Ayad Daoud doesn't look to be a day older than 8 but, like most able-bodied children in the rubbish-strewn slum once called Saddam City, he now insists he's 15 years old. That's because 15 is the minimum age for day laborers on the trash-collection crews bankrolled by the U.S.-led occupation authority and administered by the clannish networks of public servants who dole out scarce jobs, often in return for kickbacks. The streets are cleaner after nearly two weeks of what the U.S.
August 10, 2003 | From Associated Press
The first rays of sunlight haven't peeked over the horizon, but five dozen workers are already waiting to begin chopping sugar cane. Elsewhere on the Angel plantation, workers are setting fire to fields of ripe cane, which will reduce fiber in the stalks and make it easier to extract sugar at the plantation's refinery.
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