Addressing Child Safety and Labor Abuses

The use of child and forced labor is a serious problem in some shrimp exporting countries. The use of such labor is not only morally repugnant but also has a direct trade impact in that it provides an unfair cost advantage to producers who exploit such workers. In addition, imports produced by such labor can be excluded from entry into the United States and other restrictions may also apply. Accordingly, in response to a request for comments, the SSA researched and filed extensive comments with the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) on June 11, 2008 regarding evidence of child and forced labor in the production of shrimp that is eventually exported to the United States.

On September 10, 2009, Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs released three reports on child labor and/or forced labor in countries around the globe. The documents include the initial “List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor” required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. This initial list included the use of child and forced labor in the production of shrimp from Thailand, as well as the use of child labor in the production of shrimp from Bangladesh and Cambodia. Copies of the reports are provided at

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