Ethical Christmas buying

By Catherine Woulfe In Current Affairs

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China probably churned out most of the shiny stuff on your pine tree – and the presents under it. It is estimated that more than 100 million Chinese work in factories. The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (IGLHR, formerly the National Labour Committee) has compiled detailed reports on a handful of these factories, which highlight alarming – and illegal – conditions. Anti-sweatshop campaigner and head of IGLHR Charles Kernaghan says if enough consumers shunned goods made in sweatshops, the companies would panic. “It’s just that it doesn’t really happen.” The Fairtrade movement is wonderful, he says, but peanuts in comparison with the giant conventional companies. “Nothing, absolutely nothing is going to change until there are enforceable laws.” ...

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