Chinese company caught in child labor

The Trump administration is blocking shipments from a Chinese company that makes baby pajamas sold at Costco warehouses after the foreign manufacturer was accused of forcing locked ethnic minorities in a detention camp to sew clothing against their will.

The government is also blocking the rubber gloves sold by the industry leader. Ansell, whose clients include surgeons, mechanics, and scientists from across the country, accusing a Malaysian manufacturer of working in its factories with migrants from Bangladesh, Nepal, and other countries that have gone into debt for exorbitant recruitment. fees.

Bone coal imports from Brazil, which companies such as Plymouth Technology and ResinTech Inc. used to remove contaminants from US water systems, Zimbabwe diamonds and gold from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo were also halted.

US Customs and Border Protection, on 1O October, issued rare orders to detain goods imported from five unprecedented countries in one day, based on allegations that the persons producing these items may be children or adults subject to to forced labor. Orders are used to hold containers at US ports of entry until the agency can investigate allegations of irregularities.

The CBP did not disclose information about the companies importing the products covered by last week's arrest orders. But The Associated Press has tracked the items to several buyers, including Costco and the US subsidiary of Ansell, Australia's protective gloves maker. Companies said they were unaware that their products were being manufactured with forced labor.

CBP interim commissioner Mark Morgan said the number of orders, most of which were issued in a single day, "shows that if we suspect that a product is made using forced labor, we will take that product off US shelves."

Customs action last week is sending waves around the world, with exporters now on alert to improve working conditions. Internally, some US importers were shaken to learn that their products could have been manufactured by people forced to work against their will or under threat of punishment.

Human rights experts warn that 25 millions of people worldwide are victims of forced labor. In recent years, investigations by media organizations and advocacy groups have found products suspected of being forced labor while traveling from manufacturers, through brokers and dealers, into the hands of American consumers.

"CBP's announcement is significant because of the unprecedented number of actions and the message it sends through corporate supply chains," Humanity United and Freedom Fund labor lawyers said in a joint statement.

“We know that a plethora of imported products that US consumers enjoy every day - from clothing to electronics, chocolate, fruits and vegetables and other foods - are probably contaminated by forced labor in their supply chains. Making real progress to change this will require joint effort inside and outside government, including through strong enforcement of existing laws like this. ”

Until recently, arrest orders used to block shipments last week were nearly impossible.

Source: The Associated Press

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