Target: Arthur L. Peck, Gap CEO; Herbert Hainer, Adidas CEO; Karl-Johan Persson, H&M CEO
Goal: Demand that major brands stop profiting from the exploitation of women and children in garment factories.
Garment workers in Cambodia are being forced to work long hours in terrible conditions for only a few dollars a day, says a new report from Human Rights Watch. The report alleges that sexual abuse, pregnancy discrimination, and child labor run rampant in these sweatshops, which break several laws as the Cambodian government turns a blind eye. Shockingly, some of the world’s biggest brands source their clothing from these same sweatshops, including Gap, Adidas, and H&M.
The rights group interviewed nearly 300 employees from 72 factories near Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. Illegal child labor was uncovered at 11 of the factories, while 48 factories were unlawfully forcing laborers to work overtime each day, sometimes for 12 to 16 hours at a time. At the majority of the factories, workers reported being unable to unionize and unable to take breaks. It’s not uncommon for workers to faint due to the high heat, hunger, and dehydration.
As if these conditions weren’t bad enough by themselves, the average wage for workers in the garment industry is 50 cents per hour, or around $128 per month. Most garment industry workers live in abject poverty and struggle to afford basic necessities such as food, and are forced to rely on cramped housing next to garment factories to live.
The clothing that factory workers create for mere pennies is then sold to consumers for over twenty times the cost of manufacturing. This means that billion-dollar brands like Adidas, Gap, and H&M are profiting off of the exploitation of the women and children working in these deplorable conditions. Sign the petition below to ask that these major brands stand up for human rights by demanding that their suppliers treat workers fairly.
Dear Arthur L. Peck, Herbert Hainer, and Karl-Johan Persson,
New reports by Human Rights Watch allege that garment factory workers in Cambodia are being unlawfully abused in order to produce clothing for some of the world’s major international brands, including Gap, Adidas, and H&M. The workers, mostly women and children, can work up to 16 hours a day without a break for an average of 50 cents per hour.
As some of the world’s most successful brands, you owe it to your workers to treat them fairly and pay them a living wage. We, the undersigned, demand that you implement higher standards for your suppliers and ensure that you are not furthering the exploitation of garment workers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gary Dee via Creative Commons