Gap Inc, to act on child labour

Gap Inc, one of the worlds largest clothing retailers has pledged to make greater efforts to eradicate child labour after it emerged that an Indian supplier had been using children as young as ten, who worked 16 hour days.
 
In response to the discover Gap has suspended half its orders from its original contractor and put the firm on "probation" for the next six months.

An internal Gap investigation confirmed the work had been sub-contracted, without the firm's knowledge or agreement, to an "unauthorized facility".

The US firm will donate $200,000 to improve factory conditions in India as well as tighten up its own procedures.

Gap withdrew an order from sale after it was sub-contracted to a firm which used children to embroider the product.

The children involved will be paid until they reach working age, Gap insisted, and then offered jobs.

An internal Gap investigation confirmed the work had been sub-contracted, without the firm's knowledge or agreement, to an "unauthorized facility".

Gap has now suspended half its orders from its original contractor and put the firm on "probation" for the next six months.

It said it had acted "decisively" once the situation had come to light.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the 14 children police removed from the Delhi workshop under investigation are now being cared for at a local children's home.

Gap said it thoroughly audited factories which make its clothing and in 2006 had revoked the licences of 23 factories which failed to comply with its standards.

But charities said Gap had a responsibility to monitor its entire supply chain to ensure proper working practices were being upheld.

The International Labour Organisation's most recent research suggested there are more than 215 million child workers around the world, more than half of these in Asia.