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Gap and Nike: No Sweat?
Consumer Advice

Panorama has received the following advice from Save The Children. They believe this is the best way for consumers to encourage companies to act responsibly.

Save The Children suggest that boycotts often do more harm than good - if a boycott contributes to companies pulling out of factories, child workers (and others) could lose the vital jobs they have which they and their families may be relying on to survive. This could then lead to children ending up in more dangerous labour.

Consumers must take the action they think is right, but Save the Children believe that you can make a difference by asking questions in the shops and of the brands that you buy. Ask the shop managers and/or visit the companies internet sites and ask them what they are doing.

Questions you could ask include:

  • Where are the goods being made?
  • How do they check worker welfare in factories? Do they ask the workers themselves?
  • What do they do when they find under age workers? Do they fire them or do they pay their wages until they reach legal working age, and help them to attend school? Can the company give you examples of where they have done this?
    (Most will not be able to, as the common approach is to fire children but it is important to ask this question to encourage more companies to take a responsible approach to child labour.)
Visit www.savethechildren.org.uk for more details.

Save The Children UK

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