Labor Department Issues Report on Child Labor

Department of Labor released the first annual report on the worst forms of child labor in 143 trade beneficiary countries and territories as required under the Trade and Development Act of 2000. The department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs conducted the research and prepared the report, which is 400 pages long.

"This report provides information useful in understanding the phenomenon of child labor around the world. Such understanding is critical in developing policies and programs to address this issue. Awareness raising through research is essential to the global effort to eliminate abusive and exploitative child labor," said Tom Moorhead, deputy under secretary for international affairs.

The Department of Labor's 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor was prepared in response to a new child labor reporting requirement under the Trade and Development Act of 2000. Under this act, trade beneficiary countries and territories are required to implement their international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The report presents information on the nature and extent of the problem in each of these 143 countries and territories and the efforts being made by their governments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

For example, for the country of Bahrain, the report lists government policies and programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, such as a draft policy of a new labor legislation that is intended to bring the country into full compliance with ILO Convention 182. In Bahrain, children generally work in family businesses and as car washers, vendors and porters. Child trafficking is a problem throughout the Middle East and the Gulf States, but there are no official confirmations of such activities in Bahrain. The report also discusses educational opportunities for children, and the child labor laws of each of the 143 countries.

The bureau's International Child Labor Program collected data from a wide variety of sources, including the State Department, U.S. embassies and consulates, foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations and international agencies. In addition, bureau staff conducted field visits to many of the countries covered in the report.

A limited number of printed copies of the report are available from the International Child Labor Program, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-5307, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-4843; Fax (202) 693-4830; E-mail: [email protected] Also, the 400-page report is available on the Internet at

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