U.S. Department of Labor Releases Reports on International Child Labor and Forced Labor that Highlight China’s Labor Abuses



Eric Holland | Bureau of International Labor Affairs

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today released a list of 17 goods produced in China under conditions of forced labor in violation of international standards. The list includes five new goods added in 2020 – including gloves, hair products, textiles, thread/yarn and tomato products – all of which are linked to state-sponsored forced labor by ethnic and Muslim minorities.

The release of this list of goods made with forced labor is part of a broader U.S. government effort to address forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where more than one million Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities have been detained. Estimates range from at least 100,000 to possibly hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in China who may be working in conditions of forced labor following detention in Chinese Communist Party re-education camps.

“Forced labor and abusive child labor are dehumanizing, ruining lives and families,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “Today’s list illustrates the disturbing role of China – the world’s second largest economy – in sponsoring these exploitative practices.”

The list is part of the release of two flagship reports and updates to two smartphone apps that shed light on key challenges and effective strategies for reducing child labor and forced labor around the world.

The ninth edition of the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor, mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, adds two new countries (Venezuela and Zimbabwe), one new area (Taiwan) and six new goods (gloves, rubber gloves, hair products, pome and stone fruits, sandstone and tomato products) that the Department has reason to believe are produced with child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards. This edition also features the removal of cattle from Namibia from the list. In addition, a Federal Register Notice will be published in the near future with an initial determination proposing one addition (bricks from Cambodia) to the List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor.

To read the full press release, click here.