The politics of corporate responsibility: CSR and the governance of child labor and core labor rights in the 1990s

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The politics of corporate responsibility: CSR and the governance of child labor and core labor rights in the 1990s

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Title: The politics of corporate responsibility: CSR and the governance of child labor and core labor rights in the 1990s
Author: Nielsen, Michael E.
Abstract: ‘No amount of preparation could have lessened the shock and revulsion I felt on entering a sporting-goods factory in the town of Sialkot, seventy miles from Lahore, where scores of children, most of them aged five to ten, produce soccer balls by hand for forty rupees, or about $1.20, a day. The children work eighty hours a week in near-total darkness and total silence. According to the foreman, the darkness is both an economy and a precautionary measure; child-rights activists have difficulty taking photographs and gathering evidence of wrongdoing if the lighting is poor. The silence is to ensure product quality: "If the children speak, they are not giving their complete attention to the product and are liable to make errors.” The children are permitted one thirty-minute meal break each day; they are punished if they take longer. They are also punished if they fall asleep, if their workbenches are sloppy, if they waste material or miscut a pattern, if they complain of mistreatment to their parents or speak to strangers outside the factory. A partial list of "infractions” for which they may be punished is tacked to a wall near the entrance. It’s a document of dubious utility: the children are illiterate. Punishments are doled out in a storage closet at the rear of the factory. There, amid bales of wadding and leather, children are hung upside down by their knees, starved, caned, or lashed.’
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7730
Date: 2008-05-21

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