BOCOG to probe child labor allegations

By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-14 06:55

Organizers of the Beijing Olympic Games have promised to conduct further investigations into accusations that four Chinese factories are using child labor to make products for the Games.

If the accusations prove to be true, the factories will be severely punished.

"BOCOG always pays close attention to the social responsibilities of our licensed manufacturing and sales companies, as well as our sponsors," said Chen Feng, vice-director of the marketing department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

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"The accusations have come to the attention of BOCOG. If they are found to violate employment regulations, severe punishment will be meted out."

Chen said the four companies have denied using child labor, but BOCOG will continue to work with the local government to seek the truth.

BOCOG executive vice-president Jiang Xiaoyu said earlier in Hong Kong the committee strictly regulates factories that manufacture the Games licensed products, including the protection of workers' rights.

Contracts signed by factories require they abide by labor laws and be socially responsible.

"We don't select factories with negative social images as well as contractors. Once selected, we conduct on the spot inspections," Chen said.

"We have also held training meetings with them. If they violate requirements in the contracts, they will be charged and the contracts will be terminated."

Whatever the findings of the investigation, Chen said BOCOG would continue to educate those companies that have been contracted in social responsibilities.

"We want them to realize that their performance in terms of social responsibility has a lot to do with the image of the Olympics, and the reputation of the Games," he said.

(China Daily 06/14/2007 page4)

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