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Cotton Campaign accuses Uzbekistan of forced child labor

The Cotton Campaign has asserted that Uzbekistan should remain on the list of products requiring US Federal contractor certification regarding forced or indentured child labor. The entity is an international coalition of non-governmental organisations, trade unions, apparel brands and investors.

The organisation sent a letter to the US Department of Labor’s Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs, Martha E. Newton, opposing the department’s recent notice that it has made an “initial determination” to remove cotton from Uzbekistan from the list. The original list was created by Executive Order 13126, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Given the findings that forced child labor is still being implemented, the letter added it is “crucial” to monitor Uzbekistan’s 2018 cotton harvest “to ensure that the Uzbek government’s high-level commitment to eradicate forced child labor is consistently implemented on the ground.