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Kardashians sell products made in Chinese sweatshops. Or not.



tbd-kardashiansweatshop122211.jpgStar magazine is running a cover story in its latest issue accusing Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian of shilling products made in Chinese sweatshops populated by underage workers who are abused to the point of near-slavery. Wow, when did they start endorsing products made by Apple?

"The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people," Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights executive director Charles Kernaghan tells Star. "Not only are celebrities like the Kardashians taking advantage of these workers, they are holding hands with a government that spits on democracy and women's rights."

Products from the K-Dash by Kardashian label, the Kris Jenner Kollection and ShoeDazzle have been identified as coming from factories from a region in China known for inhumane working conditions, the mag says. Executive director of China Labor Watch Li Qiang called out the family for turning a blind eye to workers slogging through seven-day, 84-hour workweeks and living in squalid factory-run dorms.

"People like the Kardashians are producing their products in China because they will get more profit, since the labor cost is so low compared to the United States and other countries," he says. Kernaghan goes on to point out that factories from the Guangdong region aren't air-conditioned and net workers $15 per month, after living expenses.

"You can't talk during working hours," Kernaghan tells Star. "You can't  listen to music; you can't stand up and stretch. You can't even put your head up and look around, or you will be screamed at. If you get permission to use the toilet, you get four minutes. If you're highly specialized, you cannot even go to the bathroom."

Star proudly trumpets human-rights advocates are investigating the claims, but lets Kernaghan use the bully pulpit to ask Kim and Co. to do the right thing.

"(Kim) could do something and not leave behind a broken mess of women and children," he said. "If she took a stand and said, 'I want to manufacture my products in Chicago or Los Angeles, where I can ensure people humane conditions,' she would be taking the right stand."

The tricky part of all this is, Kernaghan told TMZ all these ominous quotes were taken out of context, and he was only describing the region in which the factories were based. He admits he has no proof those products are coming from similar factories, and if you read the quotes carefully, the Kardashians are never blamed directly. Tricky, those libel laws.

For the family's part, Kris told the site their factories are "strictly policed" and are free form human rights violations. But hey, that Star cover sure is dramatic, isn't it?

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[Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 5:01pm]


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