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Child Labor

July 16, 2005 | From Reuters
A human rights group has sued three U.S. companies in federal court in Los Angeles to force them to step up efforts to end child labor on African farms that supply cocoa beans used to make chocolate products. The International Labor Right Fund filed suit against Nestle, Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill Inc., claiming the companies are involved in trafficking, torture and forced labor of Mali children enslaved to work on Ivory Coast farms.
June 22, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Connecticut fined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. $3,300 over child labor violations after a state investigation found that some minors lacked proper paperwork and were operating hazardous equipment at the stores. Gov. M. Jodi Rell said that the state found 11 violations in three Wal-Mart stores in the state and that 337 minors worked at the company's 32 Connecticut stores from 2003 to 2005. The probe came after the Labor Department in February said the retailer had similar violations nationwide.
May 18, 2005
Re "China's Use of Child Labor Emerges From the Shadows," May 13: A country that makes laws against child labor and doesn't enforce them is inexcusable. A country that bleeds its children for greater position in the international world creates a consumptive and greedy society. China is not alone in using children for inhumane purposes, but it is deeply two-faced about it, claiming to prevent child labor and not enforcing the law. I cannot buy products from China when I know children suffered to make them.
May 13, 2005 | Ching-Ching Ni, Times Staff Writer
Christmas was just two days away and snow was falling when the five factory girls finished their shift. They'd been working for 12 hours, it was already after 1 a.m., and their dorm was freezing cold. One of them ran out to grab a bucket and some burning coal. The room warmed slightly. They drifted off to sleep. The next morning, none of them woke up. They had been poisoned by the fumes. But their parents believe at least two of the girls died much more horrible deaths.
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.
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