The U.S. Government Investigates Allegations Of Sugar Workers Abuse In Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The U.S. government is looking into allegations that Dominican sugar growers use child labor and keep workers in slave-like conditions as a possible violation of a free trade agreement, officials said Tuesday.
A delegation from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Trade and Labor Affairs is in the Caribbean country to review the allegations made by the Rev. Christopher Hartley, a Roman Catholic priest and advocate for the rights of Dominican sugar workers.
The U.S. Embassy said the delegation will review his allegations and determine if there have been any violations of the labor provisions of a trade agreement that was signed in 2004 and eliminated tariffs between the U.S., the Dominican Republic and five countries in Central America.
The Office of Trade and Labor Affairs has 180 days to review and publicly report on the charges.