Minister Seeks Evidence

The Sunday Leader |  By Maryam Azwer | June, 19 2011 |  Share  | Source Article

Campaign: Classic/Jordan-Sweatshop Abuse, Sexual Predators

By Maryam Azwer

Sri Lankan authorities await confirmation of contents from a report on Sri Lankan women forced to endure rape and sexual abuse at an apparel factory in Jordan.

Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan Perera stated last Thursday (June 16), that the Ministry is still looking for evidence. Minister Perera said, "We have contacted the NGO that released this report, and we are awaiting a reply from them," adding that an official from the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) had also been sent to Jordan to investigate the matter.  The Minister said that there had been no complaints made by these women to the Sri Lankan embassy in Jordan, and that the allegations must be confirmed before a decision is made regarding what action be taken.

On June 7, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights released a report titled Sexual Predators and Serial Rapists Run Wild at Wal-Mart Supplier in Jordan. The report carried personal accounts of a number of women working at the Classic Fashion Apparel factory, who said they were routinely raped and abused by a senior manager, reportedly a Sri Lankan national. The report also said that, the workers - who are from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Egypt, earn a take-home wage of just 61 cents an hour.

Classic is recognised as Jordan's largest garment exporter, and manufactures clothing for Wal-Mart, Hanes, and other popular labels.