By and  on December 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — Despite stepped-up efforts by the U.S. Department of Labor to pressure countries to stop child and forced labor around the world, the problem remains significant in several key countries making apparel, footwear and textiles.

In one of three child labor reports released Wednesday, there was little improvement seen in several previously cited countries in the use of child and forced labor in apparel and footwear manufacturing, the cultivation of cotton and the mining of gold and diamonds. The majority of countries were repeat offenders on the 2010 list and agency officials said they added six new products, including sapphires, allegedly being made or mined with child or forced labor, and 12 new countries, bringing the total to 128 goods from 70 countries.

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