Source: Boycotts could stop slave labor
Recently, a group of human rights activists in Uzbekistan filed a complaint against the International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private lending arm, seeking investigation into a $40-million loan to an Asian-based multinational operating in Uzbekistan. Cocoa and chocolate candy bars, coffee, tea, bananas, rice, fish, tomatoes, sugar, electronic devices, toys, cotton, clothes, shoes, gold, diamonds and other jewels may have arrived at an enormous cost, not in terms of money but of human suffering. Various groups, including the International Labor Rights Forum, Human Rights Watch and Walk Free, have been active watchdogs on slave and child labor activities for several years, and the ILRF has filed petitions with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol when it has information that products have been imported that violate existing tariff and trade laws. U.S. embassies in countries where slave and child labor practices are known or expected to occur could have security forces at airports and docks in those countries, or request that other U.S. agencies do so, or that nonprofit watchdog organizations fulfill this function with the full weight of the relevant embassy’s legal powers supporting them.