TASHKENT – In a hugely significant development for the global cotton industry, the Cotton Campaign has ended its call for fashion brands and retailers to boycott Uzbek cotton. The boycott was launched in 2009 due to the use of forced and child labour in Uzbekistan’s annual cotton harvest. The Uzbek cotton ‘pledge’ has subsequently been signed by more than 330 fashion brands and retailers who have committed to not using Uzbek cotton in their products. However, following a period of reform by the Government of Uzbekistan, forced labour has been (almost) completely eradicated in the country, while child labour was stamped out several years ago.
The Uzbek Forum for Human Rights, a partner of the Cotton Campaign, this week released its most recent report finding no central government-imposed forced labour in the 2021 harvest. The findings mirror those of the ILO’s independent monitoring committee.
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