Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sri Lanken women allegedly abused at Jordanian factory which supplies Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's Kohls and Landsend

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Distributed by the www.ArabAmericanNewsWire.com

July 19, 2011
Contact: Amanda Kloer, Editor, Change.org amanda@change.org
Barbara Briggs, Assistant Director, Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights bbriggs@glhr.org
Shoppers demand justice for victimized Sri Lankan women at factory in Jordan sewing for major brands, including Target and Hanes

WASHINGTON, DC – More than two thousand shoppers have signed an online petition on Change.org asking Walmart, Hanes, Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Jones Group and Lands' End to intervene in the ongoing sexual abuse, rape, torture, and beatings of the young women guest workers at the Classic Factory in Jordan, which supplies the companies.

Scores of young women have reported being violently raped by the factory’s manager in the past few years, as reveled in a recent report by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.

“Classic is in a prison-like lockdown,” said Charles Kernaghan, Director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. “The young women rape victims are terrified that they will be tracked down and punished. We have never met women workers more frightened, alone and with nowhere to turn, as Wal-Mart and Hanes sit back to watch the repression unfold.”

Classic workers have reported being tortured and bitten during sexual assaults and beaten or deported if they fight off the managers’ sexual advances. Some women have reported that on the weekly Muslim holiday, one manager sends a van to bring four or five young women to his hotel, where he abuses them. In a video interview, another victim alleges that upper factory management knows of the ongoing abuse.

In response to these claims, the petition on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change, asks the companies making clothes at Classic Factory to pay compensation to the women raped on the job, ensure compliance with Jordanian law and the labor rights provisions of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, and protect the workers by permanently removing the abusive factory managers.

“Thousands of consumers are letting Macy’s, Walmart, and the other companies making clothes at Classic Factory know it is absolutely unacceptable for widespread rape allegations to go unaddressed,” said Change.org Editor Amanda Kloer. “This campaign is an example of consumers’ power to protect women’s rights.”

The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, formerly National Labor Committee, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1981. The Institute is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, the United States with offices in El Salvador and Bangladesh.

Live signature totals from The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights' Change.org campaign:


Video interview with Kamala, alleged rape victim and former Classic Factory employee:


Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights report on Classic Factory

For comments from Classic Factory brands:

For comments from Walmart: Press hotline at 1-800-331-0085
For comments from Macy’s: Holly Thomas, Vice President, 646-429-5250 or Holly.Thomas@macys.com,
For comments from Target: Press hotline at 612- 696-3400 or Press@target.com.
For comments from Hanes: Matt Hall, 336-519-3386 or Matt.Hall@Hanesbrands.com

Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.
Amanda Kloer
Editor, Change.org

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