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Ivanka Trump’s Women Empowerment Speeches Ring Hollow During India Trip

Statement of Experts

WASHINGTON - Note: Ivanka Trump is in India this week on a two-day trip that Indian media has called a “royal visit.” Ms. Trump has so far ignored criticism from labor, consumer, union and human rights organizations who point out that she has failed to improve the lives of workers who make clothing sold under her name, especially women in the garment industry. In early November, more than 20 groups, led by Public Citizen, the International Labor Rights Forum and China Labor Watch, released a video highlighting the contrast between Ivanka Trump’s words and the conditions in her brand’s factories. The groups sent a letter (PDF) to Ivanka Trump demanding she raise labor standards for the mainly female workers who produce her Ivanka Trump product line.

“Another international trip, another empty, platitude-filled speech from Ivanka Trump. While encouraging women to pursue entrepreneurship is certainly a valid goal, the actions of Ivanka Trump’s clothing company betray the words of the company’s namesake. Ivanka Trump has failed to address the brutal reality exposed by human rights activists and news organizations: The clothes and shoes produced by her brand’s suppliers, which outsource all their production overseas, are often manufactured under abusive conditions.”

“Even worse, labor rights investigators in these countries still face the threat of prosecution for investigating conditions for workers making Ivanka Trump-branded products. News reports say the company supply chain has only grown murkier since Ivanka Trump joined her father’s administration. Ivanka’s commentary on the #WomenWhoWork campaign will remain worse than empty bromides so long as she fails to rectify the human rights abuses connected to her own company.”

– Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen

“Women workers in China who manufactured products for the Ivanka Trump brand have yet to receive their full legal wages. Ivanka has the responsibility to find these workers and ensure they are paid in full. Ivanka's profits include the wages of these workers.”

– Li Qiang, executive director of China Labor Watch


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