=> ISLAMABAD: The United States will review the child -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

=> ISLAMABAD: The United States will review the child

ISLAMABAD: The United States will review the child labour in nine countries, including Pakistan and if it is found in any country, the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will commend to eliminate the special preference of GSP for three years.

Official of the ministry of commerce told Daily Times that US has started review of the child labour situation in nine countries, including Pakistan. These countries are exporting carpets to US under Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.

The sources said “If the situation is unsatisfactory the TPSC would recommend to the US President to eliminate the special preference of GSP for three years.

The US GSP subcommittee of the TPSC is conducting a review of whether each beneficiary country is taking steps to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, including the use of bonded child labour, in the production of such carpets imported under the US GSP program, the official added.

The top suppliers of these carpets under the GSP program to the United States in 2006 were Pakistan, India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, and Nepal.

United States Trade Representative (USTR) has, in this regard, issued GSP notice regarding the initiation of child labour review in the production of certain GSP-eligible hand-loomed or hand-hooked carpets.

The 2004 Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act as approved by US Congress, authorized the US President to designate seven tariff lines relating to carpets (5702.51.20 (now 5702.50.20), 5702.91.30, 5702.92.00 (now 5702.92.10), 5702.99.10 (now 5702.99.05), 5703.10.00 (now 5703.10.20), 5703.20.10, and 5703.30.00 (now 5703.30.20) as eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP program.

These tariff lines cover certain hand-loomed or hand-hooked carpets and other textile floor coverings made of wool, cotton, fine animal hair, or man-made textile materials.

For purposes of this review, the term ‘‘worst forms of child labour’’ has been used which means that (a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, or forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict (b) The use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic purposes; (c) The use, procuring, or offering of a child for illicit activities in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs; and (d) Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of children. The work referred to in subparagraph (d) shall be determined by the laws, regulations, or competent authority of the beneficiary developing country involved.
Source: Daily Times
Date:2/8/2008