BBC article on child labour in Uzbekistan cotton industry

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Article
2 November 2007

Children picking cotton. Denouncement from the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London

Author: Ferghana.Ru [Russia]

...the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Great Britain categorically denounces the use of children in agriculture...[as] a response to the recent BBC program on the use of children in cotton picking...Embassy officials maintain that children were only used...15 or 20 years ago, i.e. in essentially the Soviet era...The information campaign against Uzbekistan...mismatches with the reality...why it is right now that the interest to this issue has suddenly emerged in the West and especially in Britain?...Uzbekistan...has an advanced legal system, in which the...protection of the labour rights of the under-age citizens, in particular, is proclaimed.

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Article
31 October 2007

18 minutes for the shirt on your back [Uzbekistan]

Author: Andrew Stroehlein, Director of Media and Information for the International Crisis Group

“There’s hope for British journalism yet”, is how a former colleague summed up BBC 2 Newsnight’s fantastic package...showing how Uzbekistan’s systematic use of child slave labour in the cotton fields shores up one of the most brutal regimes in the world and supplies the international cotton market...with its raw material...[C]hildren as young as nine [pick] cotton for next to nothing - or indeed nothing...Representatives of international firms dealing in cotton look foolish in their attempt to deny all knowledge of the practice, even though reports from the Environmental Justice Foundation and my own International Crisis Group have been highlighting it for years...[T]he only key point the Newsnight package missed...[is] the incongruous fact that the EU actually relaxed its sanctions on Uzbekistan this month.

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Article
31 October 2007

[video] [UK clothes retailers react to BBC report on Uzbek government system using children to harvest cotton] [starts at 18:22 point in video]

Author: BBC Newsnight

Clothes retailers have been reacting throughout the day with emotions ranging from anxiety to anger and in some cases outright indifference to our revelations last night at the use of children to harvest cotton in Uzbekistan. [Responses by ASDA (part of Wal-Mart), Matalan, Arcadia Group (owns Topman, Topshop, Burton), Plexus Cotton]

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Article
30 October 2007

Child labour and the High Street

Author: BBC Newsnight

As part of a special report we filmed children in Uzbekistan being forced to work in cotton fields instead of going to school. [refers to Asda (part of Wal-Mart), Plexus]

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Article
30 October 2007

[video] [Investigation into child labour in cotton fields in Uzbekistan]

Author: BBC Newsnight

Human rights groups estimate some 450,000 children...are shut out of schools and working in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan every harvest. [Refers to Asda (part of Wal-Mart), Matalan, Topman (Topshop, part of Arcadia), Burton (part of Arcadia), Plexus Cotton, with responses from Asda, Matalan, Topman/Burton, Plexus Cotton. Also refers to Delta Group, Continental Clothing]

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