What we did when contacted by HRW:
When Human Rights Watch (HRW) contacted us about suspected child labor in Salvadoran sugar mills, we moved quickly to review our direct suppliers' policies and practices. Although a 2003 audit of the refinery had found no child labor, we again verified that it and its supplying mill had sound policies against employing underage youth.
Nevertheless, child labor is a problem on family-owned farms and farm cooperatives in El Salvador. In support of a multi-stakeholder effort to help address this problem in the sugar industry, the local sugar association increased monitoring and enforcement, education of parents and communities and provided expanded educational opportunities for rural children for the 2004/05 harvest. According to International Labor Organization (ILO) project data, 65% of the ILO-targeted group of 5,000 children under 18 that worked in the previous year's harvest were removed from the 2004/05 harvest as a result of a variety of community efforts. Furthermore, over 15,000 children under 18 years of age deemed by the ILO to be at risk of working in the harvest, have been prevented from beginning work in the harvest. This significant improvement was driven through community programs focused on school enrollment, parental awareness and creating local non-hazardous opportunities for youth. (Source: ILO-IPEC El Salvador.)
During the 2004/05 harvest, representatives of The
Based on a review of the programs, the Salvadoran Sugar Association and our direct suppliers will refine and enhance their most successful awareness, monitoring and outreach programs to address child labor. Further, as a result of efforts facilitated by The
Within our roles and abilities, we and our bottling partner in El Salvador, will continue to work with our direct suppliers, the sugar association, NGOs, local officials and the International Labor Organization in El Salvador to strengthen community outreach and increase youth access to education and opportunity.
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