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Uzbekistan Cotton Concern : September 2008

Recently published articles have highlighted the use of children in the harvesting of cotton in Uzbekistan. Obviously, this is a huge no no. Please check with your suppliers to make certain that they are not purchasing cotton in Uzbekistan.

I am absolutely not saying that every single cotton farm in that country employees child labor. However, reports indicate that the country in general is currently having some major concerns. If you are buying cotton, cotton yarn, cotton fabric, cotton clothing etc. you should be very careful to check the source of the cotton. If it is Uzbek cotton, you should really re-think you purchase.

It is important to note that this is a time relevant issue. The problem is now (September 2008), this does not mean the countries cotton should be banned forever. Hopefully, the farmers will realize the error in their ways, and make corrections to their human rights standards immediately.

Note: Please do your own research on this subject. I have never been in Uzbekistan and do not personally have any official proof regarding this unacceptable use of child labor. However, I have been told that Wal-mart has decided to temporarily disallow products made with Uzbek cotton.

Example of article:
U.S. Retailers Demand End to Use of Forced Child Labor to Harvest C... MarketWatch - Aug 18, 2008
Uzbeks urged to end child labour Financial Times, UK - Aug 15, 2008

Learn more about human rights issues relevant to the fashion industry at the fashion human rights section on Apparel Search.

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