[Excerpt] This month, we release the 16th edition of the annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, a report born from the idea that trade should be fairer for all. Mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 (TDA), which expanded eligibility criteria for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, this report shines a spotlight on specific sectors in which child labor, including forced labor and trafficking, persists, and describes the progress some countries have made in upholding their international commitments to eliminate these practices. The report offers recommendations to address these injustices and protect children through improved laws, policies, and practices. Unfortunately, the report also demonstrates how much work is needed to end child labor.
This report provides specific, actionable information to the governments of GSP-beneficiary countries regarding how best to combat labor abuses. Companies also use the report as a critical input into risk assessments, to conduct due diligence on their supply chains, and to develop strategies to address the problem. Our own federal government agencies use the report to safeguard federal procurement by informing procurement officers of risks in sourcing products and services. DOL uses this report to reveal hidden exploitation and partner with countries working to end labor abuses. Through these partnerships, we have rescued and provided educational opportunities to nearly two million children, helped almost 170,000 families meet their basic needs without relying on child labor, and contributed to reducing child labor by more than 94 million worldwide. This month, we are releasing an updated version of our Sweat & Toil app, which puts more than 1,000 pages of this report and other DOL research on child labor and forced labor in the palm of your hand.