Uzbekistan Cotton Harvest & Child Labour: Multistakeholder Letter


BSCI has joined UK-based NGO Anti-Slavery International in an effort to help put an end to child labour in Uzbek cotton fields. Uzbekistan is the 3rd biggest exporter of cotton in the world. During the cotton harvest season in Uzbekistan, many rural schools are closed down by government officials, and children are brought to the fields to harvest cotton by hand in order to fill the shortfall of voluntary adult labour. Uzbekistan is one of the countries benefiting from reduced trading tariffs for its cotton imports to the EU. In a joint letter to European Commissioner for Trade, Karel de Gucht, signed by a number of organisations among which also Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and BSCI, Anti-Slavery calls for an investigation under the General System of Preference (GSP) Regulation, to determine whether these benefits should be withdrawn. Some European retailers have taken steps to ban Uzbekistan cotton from their supply chains (see here) The letter is available here. Contact: Carien Duisterwinkel, Stakeholder Relations Project Manager

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