A woman who claimed that Singapore has a problem with child labor has set her Twitter account to private and changed usernames after drawing backlash in both the U.S. and Singapore.
Twitter user @RivkaGheist was throwing shade at an unknown person this morning when she implied that families in Singapore sell their children to work at H&M sweatshops. Hours later, several people tried to convince her that there was no such thing, but @RivkaGheist refused to budge.
She even cited a website by childrens’ rights NGO Humanium to support her stand although that site did not mention anything about Singaporean children working in textile factories.
“**whispers** not every country in southeast asia is the same country,” Twitter user @perdricof said in the replies. This user, who also appears to be from the U.S., later said that she was blocked.
lmao she blocked me over this pic.twitter.com/BS07yaNxCV
— Dr. Samantha Hancox-Li (@perdricof) October 13, 2020
Singaporean blogger Lee Kin Mun, popularly known as Mr Brown, also called @RivkaGheist out to correct the misinformation with some humor.
“Don’t be silly. We only sell our children in Singapore to textile factories that make Zara blouses. H&M sweat shops in Singapore pay so little! (And the OP doubles down on her stupidity when someone tries to point out her mistake. Somebody needs a geography lesson, I think. Or maybe needs to own a passport.),” he said.
Don’t be silly. We only sell our children in Singapore to textile factories that make Zara blouses. H&M sweat shops in…
The woman has since set her Twitter account to private, blocked people from sending messages, and changed her username to @BlonderGheist.
She had posted the tweet at around 4am Singapore time, referencing an unknown newscaster who could be benefiting from child labor by wearing an H&M blouse and yet go on television to discuss Hollywood’s child pornography problem based on details taken off shady websites.
“Sue in Michigan will wear an H&M blouse made by a ten year old in Singapore whose starving family sold them to a textile factory for $180 USD so she can look cute on the 7 o’clock news talking about the Hollywood Elite kiddie porn rings she read about on thecrimsoneagle.geocites,” the tweet read.
She went on to defend herself by saying that Singapore is “not even as remotely free from child labor” and shared a screenshot of a page from Humanium.org.
“For the record, the Singapore example I used above is a specific example from [an] article on child labor practices, not something I pulled out of my ass,” she added.
Child labor issues are more widespread in other parts of Asia such as Bangladesh, where some of H&M’s textile factories are reportedly located. According to UNICEF, over 41 million children aged 5 to 14 years in South Asia are involved in child labor. This includes working in a variety of industries like carpet weaving, garment making, domestic service, agriculture, fisheries, and mining.
The minimum working age in Singapore is 13 but most teenagers are not allowed to work in factories or places that constitute an industrial setting. Companies employing people 13 to 15 years old must notify Singapore’s commissioner for labor and ensure they do not work more than six hours a day including time at school, or work more than three hours without breaks.
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