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22 Sep 2015

the Cotton Campaign

Cotton Campaign Rejoinder

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"Regarding Companies Operating in Uzbekistan and Contributions to the Forced-Labor System", 8 September 2015

With the cotton harvest underway in Uzbekistan, corporate contributions to the Uzbek government’s forced-labor system of mobilizing cotton pickers remain a serious concern. The statements on the issue by General Motors, TeliaSonera, Telenor and Vimpelcom raise as many questions as they provide answers... 

Teliasonera should now clarify whether its dialogue with the Uzbek government means it will not be contributing to the 2015 harvest in any form, and whether the Uzbek government has changed its policy on requiring contributions to the harvest...

Vimpelcom should... clarify what changed in Uzbek government policy that allows the company to not be “supporting the cotton harvest,” and whether “supporting” includes all forms of contributions...

GM’s stated commitment to “the highest level of ethical standards” is welcome, yet in its statement the company merely reiterates the participation of GM Uzbekistan workers in the cotton harvest and reports expanded GM involvement in the Uzbek cotton industry by “supporting mechanization.”...