SWITZERLAND: ILO Considers Textile and Leather Labour Issues
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), an arm of the United Nations, has held a tripartite meeting with labour associations and employers to consider an ILO report on the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) sector. The gathering, held in Geneva last week, addressed important issues in the sector, including child labour; globalisation; discrimination of women and migrant workers; forced labour - clandestine workshops, sweatshops and debt bondage; and competitiveness, technology and training needs.The forum was attended by representatives of twenty countries, including the USA, UK, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey. Intergovernmental organisations were also represented. The ILO report has already released some of its findings on the TCF sector in developing countries. It found that in 1998 Indonesian, Thai and Ceylonese employment in the sector grew rapidly, while the number of Bangladeshi workers doubled. It also discovered that China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam have the lowest labour costs, below $0.45 per hour versus $10 in Europe.
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