I'd echo the opinion offered in posts 3 and 4. The corporate honesty represented in the report should be seen as a positive example and not as a stain on the GAP Inc.'s record.
Corporations as large as GAP will make some hiring mistakes somewhere along the line. Owning up to those mistakes is quite respectable.
The Gap Responsibility Report was not exclusively an internal organ product. Gap Inc worked with the Public Reporting Working Group that has a statement of its goals and participation in the Responsibility Report. In addition, the Report includes a Gap Inc discussion of the Working Group and of Gap's aim in soliciting the assistance of the Group. What all this means is (1) that both the Gap and the Working Group are transparent in their goals and relationship and (2) that the Gap Responsibility Report is trustworthy as it is not an internal public relations instrument.
Public Reporting Working Group Statement: http://ccbn.mobular.net/ccbn/7/645/696/index.html
Gap Choosing Public Reporting Working Group, including memebers and objective of Group: http://www.gapinc.com/content/csr/html/topnavtoolbar/about_this_site.html
I have to say that I am impressed not only by the mere fact that such a report is issued each year but that Gap goes to such lengths to call attention to the report. Apparently Gap feels that it has nothing to be ashamed of in terms of social responsibility; the company seems proud of its record and does everything possible to publicize the report, even including posting videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIyXRENRyfE
I'm not aware of another company that issues this kind of report or goes to this much trouble to publicize it.
This a good question. Of late, there was a video of a ten year old boy making clothing for gap. When interviewed he stated that he was working for four months to pay off debts that his family incurred. This took place in India, where the GAP has many factories. When GAP found out about this, they took measure to clear its name. It seems as though this is not first time this happened and the GAP has certain things place.
First, they closed down already many plants that did not comply with child labor laws.
Second, they will provide funds for the children's eduction.
Third, they have a fund to stop child labor around the world.
In light of these points, GAP is being responsible. They are actually doing a great deed. Even if there are scandals, it is hard to look over every plant. Large companies, like the GAP, cannot look into every detail. What is important is their response when these unjustices are found.