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Cablegate: United Kingdom: Report On Forced Labor and Child Labor In

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OO RUEHBL RUEHED
DE RUEHLO #1406 1411330
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201330Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8685
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHED/AMCONSUL EDINBURGH 0929
RUEHBL/AMCONSUL BELFAST 1056

UNCLAS LONDON 001406

DOL/ILAB FOR RACHEL RIGBY
DRL/ILCSR FOR MARK MITTELHAUSER
G/TIP FOR STEVE STEINER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI UK
SUBJECT: UNITED KINGDOM: REPORT ON FORCED LABOR AND CHILD LABOR IN
THE PRODUCTION OF GOODS

REF: STATE 00043120

1. (U) There is no record of forced or child labor in the
production of legal goods in the UK. The Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) informed Post that it does not collate information on
goods produced with child labor and that it is not aware of any
private research in this area. Its most recent reports to the
International Labor Organization on compliance with Conventions on
child labor contain information on what the UK is doing in the areas
of child trafficking, sexual exploitation and occupational safety
and health, but do not refer to the manufacture of goods, whether
for export or otherwise. The DWP requests that the final USG report
be shared with them, however, to assist them in tracking child labor
in other countries.

2. (U) A representative of the Child Exploitation and Online
Protection Centre (CEOP) told Post that there is no evidence of
legal goods being produced using child labor. However, anecdotal
evidence suggests that children trafficked into the UK are used in
cannabis farms. The representative added that this year the UK's
anti-trafficking teams within the Home Office, the Borders and
Immigration Agency, and CEOP, will be focusing on labor
exploitation. As such, more research is likely to be conducted on
forced labor and child labor in the production of goods over the
course of the year.

3. (U) The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) is not aware of
specific products produced as a result of child or forced labor.
The GLA is a UK government body charged with enforcing work rules on
labor brokers ("gangmasters") in the sectors of agriculture,
shellfish harvesting and related fields. The current position for
children working in the GLA's sectors is that the labor providers
must be able to demonstrate that they comply with the following
(Licensing standard 9): keep details on file of any work
activities, including times and dates worked, carried out by
children and young workers; there should be copies of adequate and
suitable risk assessments available where young persons are
employed; children and/or young persons are only carrying out work
permitted by law. The GLA has not found any examples of child labor
since it began inspecting in April 2006.

4. (U) A recent report by the Trades Union Congress Commission on
Vulnerable Employment, 'Hard Work, Hidden Lives', cites a survey
(TUC (2001) Class struggles: a Survey of School Age Employment in
England and Wales. London:TUC) conducted by MORI which indicated
that regulations relating to working children are frequently broken:
nearly half of working children surveyed were employed after 8pm,
and nearly a quarter before 6am, both breaches of UK law. Children
in the survey also reported working in significant excess of their
legally permitted hours and there was evidence of children under 15
working over 40 hours a week. The findings also highlight the
consequences of these breaches, with one in ten children admitting
to having played truant in order to do paid work, and one in four
children under 13 admitting to doing paid work either during term or
in the summer holidays, even though this is illegal. The Vulnerable
Employment report also mentions research which suggests that in a
minority of cases, employment practices used by employers of migrant
workers fall under internationally agreed definitions of forced
labor. However, no specific goods are mentioned. The full report
can be found at vulnerableworkers.org.uk/files/CoVE_full_repo rt.pdf


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