BSCI is concerned by the situation in Uzbekistan. This country represents one of the leading cotton producers in the world where children are forced by the government to harvest cotton. Over the past few years, BSCI has been working with other concerned stakeholders to raise awareness of this unacceptable practice and put an end to it. However, like many organisations, BSCI has been disappointed by the unwillingness of the Uzbek government to cooperate. According to reports, the Uzbek government is now also forcing adults, including employees of private companies, to work in cotton fields during the harvest time to meet the harvest quota.
BSCI is now recommending all its participating companies to sign the pledge of a broader international alliance led by the Cotton Campaign in order to stop sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan. BSCI will continue to follow very carefully this issue and facilitate dialogue among all players to improve the situation in Uzbekistan. We encourage all companies to join us and sign the Company Pledge.