Press Releases

For media inquiries please contact Rachel Cohen: racohen78 [at]

DOL Child Labor List Released


September 10, 2009
Contact: Brian Campbell
Tim Newman

Today, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a list of goods believed to have been produced using forced or child labor globally.  The list includes a number of industries where the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) has identified these labor rights abuses to occur including cocoa, cotton, tobacco and rubber.

US Department of Labor Includes Uzbek Cotton on List of Products Made by Forced, Child Labor


September 10, 2009

Contact: Brian Campbell, brian.campbell[at], +1-202-347-4100 x102
Leslie Getzinger, lgetzing[at], +1-202-585-4373
Melinda Lovins, Melinda.Lovins[at], +1-301-657-7089

Advocates and Shareholders Express Concern about Ongoing Forced Labor of Children in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Industry

US Department of Labor Lists Cocoa, Cotton and Other Goods as Products Made by Forced, Child Labor


Today, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a list of goods believed to have been produced using forced or child labor globally.  The list includes a number of industries where the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) has identified these labor rights abuses to occur including cocoa, cotton, tobacco and rubber.

Middle East: Governments Step Up Repression As Economic Crisis Hits Jobs and Incomes


As the economic situation in several Middle Eastern countries has deteriorated over the past three months, an alarming increase in repression of independent trade union activity has taken place, as governments react with force to demands for better protection of incomes and for job security.

In Morocco, massive fraud took place during national employee-representative elections, aimed at excluding trade unions from future negotiations on wages and working conditions. Other forms of anti-union action have included dismissal of workplace trade union representatives.

Guatemala: A dysfunctional labour justice system


The ITUC joins the Confederación de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG), the Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala (CGTG) and UNSITRAGUA in expressing its profound concern at the very serious allegations of corruption and impunity within the Guatemalan labour law and justice system, affecting all workers in the union centres’ affiliates, with particular regard to the system’s independence and autonomy.

ILO team arrives to probe rights abuses


A three-member team of International Labour Organisations (ILO) officials is in Zimbabwe to probe alleged violations of trade union rights by the Zimbabwean government.

The team, which is led by Raymond Ranjeva, a senior judge with the International Court of Justice, is set to spend two weeks in the country.

Ranjeva is accompanied by Evance Rabban Kalula, University of Cape Town director of the institute of development and labour law, and Bertrand Ramcharan, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

No End to Assassinations in Colombia


The ITUC, together with its regional organisation TUCA and its three national affiliates in Colombia, has strongly condemned the murder of Rafael Antonio Sepúlveda Lara, an affiliate of the national hospital workers’ union, Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Hospitalarios de Colombia (ANTHOC), and a member of the national executive of the public servants’ federation, Federación Nacional de Servidores Públicos (FENASER-CTC).

Colombia: Two More Trade Unionists Murdered


The ITUC once again strongly condemns and denounces the murders of two more trade unionists in the Arauca region. Pablo Rodríguez Garavito and Jorge Humberto Echaverri Garro, teachers affiliated to the Arauca teachers’ association Asociación de Educadores de Arauca (ASEDAR), were brutally murdered by unknown gunmen.

The ITUC has joined with its regional organisation TUCA, its Colombian affiliates, and ASEDAR, in their resounding condemnation of these murders, mourned by working people and the national, regional and international trade union movement.

Outlaw Tainted ‘White Gold’


Global clothing brands and retailers were today urged to purge their supply chains of tainted "white gold' - cotton from Uzbekistan picked by forced and child labour.

Speaking in Geneva on the World Day Against Child Labour, Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation hit out at the global cotton industry as one of the most exploitative industries employing millions of children in preparing, planting and picking.

Niger: Democracy Under Threat


According to the seven Nigerien trade union organisations within the Intercentrale CDTN-CGSL-CNT-UGSEIN-UGTN-USPT-USTN inter-union grouping, democratic stability is under serious threat in Niger. President Mamadou Tandja is pushing for a referendum aimed at changing the Nigerien Constitution so that he can run for a third term.

This situation has come about following the Constitutional Court’s rejection, on 25 May, of his call for a referendum. The National Assembly was dissolved the following day.

New report shows continued use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry despite some improvement


A new report released today by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) and anonymous human rights activists shows that while international pressure from retailers and consumers has had some effect in curbing forced child labor in the production of cotton in Uzbekistan, the practice is still pervasive.

Come Meet Liberian Labor Activists in DC on Saturday, May 16!


For over 80 years, the Bridgestone Firestone tire company has owned the world’s largest rubber plantation in Liberia. Child labor, widespread abuse of worker’s rights and environmental destruction have characterized the plantation for generations. But workers and communities affected by Firestone’s abuses are fighting back. Come hear the leaders of the union representing Firestone workers in Liberia and a leading environmental advocate discuss their fight for economic and environmental justice – and find out how you can support their struggle!

Study of the impact of DR-CAFTA on labor rights reveals precarious conditions, impunity, and the risk of decline


After three years of studying the impact of the free trade agreement DR-CAFTA on labor rights, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) published a study today that reveals that labor conditions in the DR-CAFTA countries have not improved and violations have not diminished regardless of promises made by the member countries to improve labor rights and the millions of dollars invested by the United States to meet this objective. Moreover, WOLA anticipates the labor situation in Central America will deteriorate further due to the global economic crisis.