Child 'slave' workers discovered making clothes for Gap
CHILDREN AS YOUNG as ten have been discovered working in a textile factory in India making clothes that appear destined for Gap.
The Observer’s undercover report revealed that children in the Shahpur Jat area of Delhi are working in slave-like conditions, working long hours without being paid under violent and threatening circumstances.
High street giant Gap claimed it was unaware that clothing made for the Christmas market had been illegally subcontracted to a sweatshop with child labour. The clothes shop declared it had removed the articles of clothing involved and intended to investigate breaches of the ethical code imposed by it three years ago.
The revelation of children working in illegal and inhumane conditions has reignited worries over big retail chains outsourcing production to India – which the United Nations acknowledges as the world’s capital for child labour.
Celebrities including Madonna, Lenny Kravitz and Sarah Jessica Parker have all signed up to advertising campaigns for Gap, making it one of the most successful and iconic brands in fashion.
Gap said in a statement from its headquarters in San Francisco: ‘We firmly believe that under no circumstances is it acceptable for children to produce or work on garments.
‘These allegations are deeply upsetting and we take this situation very seriously. All of our suppliers and their subcontractors are required to guarantee that they will not use child labour to produce garments. In this situation, it’s clear one of our vendors violated this agreement and a full investigation is under way.’