ibnlive » India

Oct 30, 2007 at 01:34am IST

US retailer GAP recalls sweatshop pieces

New Delhi: Clothing giant GAP says it has destroyed all clothes that were allegedly made by child labours in a sweatshop in Delhi. This after UK newspaper Observer revealed in a sting operation that 10-year-olds were working on the embroidery on GAP clothes.

The clothing line is under fire for allowing children to work on delicate embroidery and bead work, but GAP has now recalled the 700-odd items made in the Delhi sweatshop.

“They (clothes) have been destroyed. It's a horror, it’s sickening and completely unacceptable for the organisation,” President of GAP (North America), Marka Hansen says.

Though, GAP has no official store in India, a tenth of its factory base is located in the country.

Cheap labour and raw material makes many foreign companies like GAP outsource their production process to sub-contractors in India. But GAP says the sub-contractor named in this sting operation was not working directly with them.

“The sub-contractor we had given the contract to decided on his own to sub-contract it to an illegal sub-contractor,” Hansen says.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has promised an investigation into the matter. But he also suggested that developed countries could be using child labour as an excuse to block trade from India and protect their own industries.