“In the past two decades, private audits have become the solution to a host of public relations headaches for corporations. When scandal erupts over labor practices, or shareholders worry about legal risks, or advocacy groups demand a boycott, companies point to these inspections as evidence that they have eliminated abuses in their supply chains. Known as social compliance audits, they have grown into an $80 billion global industry, with firms performing hundreds of thousands of inspections each year.

But a New York Times review of confidential audits conducted by several large firms shows that they have consistently missed child labor.”

The New York Times, December 28