Responding to the ethical imperative to respect and protect the basic rights of working men and women to safe, decent, secure working conditions, and noting our own community’s historical experience as immigrants to this country, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs reaffirms its commitment to the campaign to eliminate sweatshops and to end exploitative child labor.

The organized Jewish community has a long history of involvement in efforts to end sweatshops and sweatshop working conditions and has consistently supported the basic right of working men and women to better their working conditions through the labor movement. In October 1996, the JCPA endorsed federal “Stop Sweatshops” legislation, an important step in the campaign to hold manufacturers and retailers responsible for the conditions under which their goods are produced.

We join now with a broad coalition of religious, human rights, labor, student, women’s and grassroots community organizations to support the nationwide “Holiday Season of Conscience” program. This initiative provides American consumers the opportunity to participate in the international campaign to end exploitative child labor and sweatshops. The JCPA supports the participation of its constituent agencies in local and national activities connected with this campaign and with efforts to aid exploited workers currently laboring in sweatshops both in this country and abroad.

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