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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 October 2007, 08:45 GMT
Gap pulls 'child labour' clothing
Detail of Gap shopping bag in store - Jan 2007
Gap has made commitments not to use child labour
Fashion chain Gap has withdrawn from sale children's clothing allegedly made using forced child labour in India.

A 10-year-old boy was filmed making clothes for Gap shops in the US and Europe as part of an investigation by the UK's Observer newspaper.

The boy told the Observer he had been sold to a factory owner by his family.

Gap, which has made commitments not to use child labour, said that only one item - a girl's smock blouse - was involved.

The boy said he had been working for four months without pay and would not be allowed to leave the job until the fee his family had received was repaid.

Another boy of 12 said children were beaten if bosses thought they were not working hard enough, the paper reported.

This is very upsetting and we intend to investigate thoroughly
Gap spokesman Dan Henkle

Dan Henkle, a spokesman for Gap, said: "We were made aware earlier this week that a reporter had found an incident of children working in a factory that was producing for one of our brands, and this is completely unacceptable to us.

"We have a strict prohibition on child labour, and we are taking this very seriously. This is very upsetting and we intend to investigate thoroughly."

Emergency meeting

The spokesman said Gap monitors factories which make its clothing and in 2006 revoked approval for 23 factories which it said failed to comply with its standards.

Mr Henkle also said the company was calling an emergency meeting with its suppliers in the region.

The smock blouse will not be offered for sale in the company's 3,000 stores around the world, Gap said, and instead will be destroyed.

Western clothing chains increasingly get their products made in Asia, taking advantage of cheaper labour.

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