Target: Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M
Goal: Cut ties with Myanmar factories that employ young workers and violate child labor laws.
Two Myanmar factories that produce clothing for the famous fashion retailer H&M employ children as young as 14. These findings, soon to be published in a book about the fashion industry’s use of child labor, claim that the children work up to 12 hours a day and are only paid three dollars an hour. This practice is what allows the retailer to sell its styles so cheaply.
The employment of children in these factories goes against international labor laws. Although the minimum working age in the nation is 14, these workers are only allowed to work four hours a day. The factories are easily violating this rule by sending young workers home on inspection days and using forged identification cards that make the workers appear older than they really are.
When confronted about the company’s relationship with these factories, H&M released a statement that admits awareness of the issue, denounces child labor, and promises that action has and will be taken to end this horrible practice. One way in which the company says action has been taken is in the “improved handling of ID-cards.” However, few exact details have been given as to how the company will ensure forged identification cards are no longer distributed.
If the factories have forged IDs in the past, they are very likely to do so again in order to maintain their cheap force of labor. The only way H&M can assure its consumers that the clothing they are purchasing is ethically produced is for the company to break ties with these two factories. Sign the petition to urge H&M to end its contracts with the factories that employ children.
Dear Mr. Persson,
It has recently been brought to international attention that your fashion retailer, H&M, has contracts with two factories in Myanmar that utilize illegal child labor. Using forged identification cards, children as young as 14 are working days that are 12 hours long and are only being paid three dollars an hour. It is these violations of child labor that enables your company to so cheaply sell its products.
After being confronted about the issue, your company claimed that it is aware of the labor law breaches and has taken action to end such violations by ensuring identification cards are more properly handled. However, the factories have shown in the past very little regard for following your company’s rules, as well as international rules. Therefore, these factories may very well resort to forged IDs in the future in order to maintain cheap labor.
I urge your company to cut its ties with these factories so that no more children are taken advantage of for the sake of H&M’s fashion. By doing so, you would not only be sending a valuable and ethical message to your customers but also your company would set a precedent for other companies, highlighting a statement that the exploitation of children should not and cannot be ignored.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mike Mozart