Child-Labor-Free Shopping Trip
Well it's over for this year!!! Twenty-seven Broad Meadows Middle School
in Massachusetts have gone on a "Day-Before-Thanksgiving" Child-labor-free
shopping trip at our
biggest Mall!!! So, I bet you're wondering what happened?? Well, we
groups of three, and headed off to interview the store
managers on our lists. We met with 102 store managers to introduce
and then ask our one big question: "Can you guarantee that every
item sold in
this store is guaranteed "child-labor-free"?
1. Some of the store managers didn't even know what child labor was!!
We actually got answers like "What's that?" and "You
think MY store has that stuff
going on?!" We even had one manager say they did have products
made by child
2. One VERY popular store denied that their trendy clothes were made
sweatshops, but then that manager told us that his two biggest competitors
DEFINITELY had sweatshop made clothing for sale.
3. Not one single manager could produce their corporate "Workers'
Conduct." Some managers said they had one, but we never saw a
single one. Most
did not know what a workers' code of conduct is.
4. We did get kicked out of two stores as soon as we said the "child
5. A few refused to discuss child labor with us saying, "We are
not allowed to discuss
We visited 102 stores (clothing, food court, sports, electronics, etc.)
hours. Each team of three students had a different list of stores.
We did that so we
wouldn't miss any store or visit the same store over and over.
* 51 store managers said: "I have no idea" or "I really
do not know."
* 25 store managers said: "There is nothing in this store made
However, when we asked for the "Workers' Code of Conduct" to
how the store guarantees their goods are child-labor-free, none could
anything. Are we supposed to just take their word?
* 12 gave answers like: "What's child labor?" Are adults
in this country really that
ignorant about sweatshops and child labor?
* 2 said: "Yes, we must be selling things made by children." When
we asked them
how that made them feel they said: "Bad."
* 2 kicked us out after we asked the question. We are shopping for
not trouble. We practiced what to do if a manager got aggressive. We
left. We won't shop there EVER!
* 10 gave random answers like they were comedians. We didn't think
right to joke about child labor.
Well it was a brutal 4 hours, but our "operation Day's Work" group
is strong, and we
made it through. In fact, after we got back, we still wanted to know
stores who did not know indeed had child labor, or not. So myself and
got together, broke out our lists and called the stores' corporate
or home office.
Some listened to us. Many promised they would fax or snail mail to
us a copy of
their "Workers' Code of Conduct." That was three weeks ago.
We haven't received a
single one yet.
Now, it is up to you, the one reading this summary. What do you think
do to help us on the journey to a child labor free world?? Contact
the following address:
The Kids' Campaign : A School for Iqbal
& Operation Day's Work Student Group
Broad Meadows Middle School
1 Anne Marie Zukauskas Way 50 Calvin Road
Quincy Massachusetts, 02169
Thank you for reading this!!!
Kayla, age 14 and Kristen, age 14
O.D.W. - MA
For more info about actions young people can take
to eliminate forced, abusive child labor,
go to :