Child Labour in Uzbekistan
Cotton Picking in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is the world’s sixth largest producer of cotton, and the third largest exporter. For decades it has used forced labour of schoolchildren, college and university students to harvest cotton by hand.Each year over one million children as young as nine-years-old are sent out to work in the fields (http://www.sourcingnetwork.org/cotton). This practice is organised and controlled by the central government.
What Can You Do?
In 2004 local activists started to call for the world to boycott cotton harvested in Uzbekistan until the use of forced child labour was ended. International brands and retailers including Tesco, Walmart, LeviStrauss, Gap, Limited Brands, NIKE and Marks and Spencer agreed to ban Uzbek cotton from their supply chains. STOP THE TRAFFIK has written to Target, Kmart and Cotton On requesting that these retailers ensure that Uzbekistan cotton is not used in products which they sell. Ask your favourite clothing brand where they source their cotton.