In response to media reports issued today, Gap Inc. issued a statement clarifying information surrounding a UK media report on the use of child labor in an unauthorized facility that produced a single product for Gap. Earlier this week, the company was informed about an allegation of child labor at a facility in India that was working on one product for GapKids. An investigation was immediately launched. The company noted that a very small portion of a particular order placed with one of its vendors was apparently subcontracted to an unauthorized subcontractor without the company’s knowledge or approval. This is in direct violation of the company’s agreement with the vendor under its Code of Vendor Conduct.
Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, made the following statement today: “We strictly prohibit the use of child labor. This is a non-negotiable for us – and we are deeply concerned and upset by this allegation. As we’ve demonstrated in the past, Gap has a history of addressing challenges like this head-on, and our approach to this situation will be no exception. In 2006, Gap Inc. ceased business with 23 factories due to code violations. We have 90 people located around the world whose job is to ensure compliance with our Code of Vendor Conduct.
When Gap Inc. was alerted of this situation, the company stopped the work order and prevented the product from being sold in stores. While violations of child labor in factories that produce product for the company are extremely rare, Gap has called an urgent meeting with their suppliers in the region to reinforce their policies.
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