Report Exposes Dangerous Conditions Of GAP Factory For Children

August 3, 2009

Africa (ChattahBox) – A Sunday Times report has exposed the dangerous conditions being created by a GAP factory in Africa, where chemical waste is being dumped into rivers, and into unsecured dump sites where children as young as three are often found picking through.

The Lesotho plant has allegedly been dumping various forms of waste, such as needles, chemicals, and caustic soda into unsecured sites, where children will later go to work for hours a day. They have complained of various medical conditions as a consequence, such as rashes and breathing problems.

Chemicals have also been dumped into a local river, which is used as a primary source of cooking and drinking water, as well as bathing water. It isn’t clear how much damage that dumping may have done to the many who live in the area, and downriver from the dump site.

The shocking news was followed by an immediate statement from GAP and Levi Strauss, which said that they had no idea that the dumping was occurring. They have said that the factory has been put ‘on notice’, and told to improve, and that investigations are being launched into the matter.

“While we’re very proud of the progress we’ve made to date, we also understand that conditions are not perfect and that there is still a great deal more to be done to improve both environmental and factory working conditions in developing regions like Lesotho,” GAP Chairman Glenn Murphy said in a statement.

But this isn’t the first time that GAP and it’s sister shops have been known for violating human rights, or endangering children.

In 2000, protesters marched in San Fransisco to demand better conditions in overseas factories known for being sweat shops.

In 2007, several factories in India were found to be operated by children under the age of 12. The same Indian factories were also a part of a scandal that year, after it was found that 3 employees were not allowed to leave work do to serious illness, and died as a result.

The GAP has since been making efforts to change it’s policies, and claim to be taking more interest in their factories and the conditions. But one has to wonder how many more of these stories will be exposed, and how many people will suffer before those changes are made.

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