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LONDON – The Better Cotton Initiative’s procedures for addressing forced labour are not fit for purpose, an independent taskforce has concluded. The Task Force carried out an intensive review into BCI’s systems and procedures in the wake of the cotton standard’s experiences in Xinjiang, where for several years it used XPCC – a quasi-military organisation with deeply ingrained links to forced and prison labour – as its main implementing partner.

BCI ditched XPCC in October last year and recently announced a complete exit from the Xinjiang market.

Earlier this year, a taskforce was formed by BCI to assess its systems for addressing forced labour. The Task Force comprised 12 experts representing civil society, brands/ retailers, and research or consultancy organisations. It included representatives from Nike, adidas and M&S.

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