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11 Nov 2016

Business Insider

EU backs textile trade deal with Uzbekistan opposed by activists over use of forced labour in cotton industry

"EU lawmakers back Uzbekistan trade deal opposed by anti-slavery activists"

European Union lawmakers...backed a textile trade deal with Uzbekistan opposed by anti-slavery activists who say it will result in the EU profiting from forced labor in the Central Asian country's cotton industry. The influential trade committee (INTA) approved the deal, revising a 2011 decision by the European Parliament to put it on hold over allegations of child and forced labor in the Uzbek cotton industry. Lawmakers commended Uzbekistan for its efforts in getting children out of the fields but stressed the deal was conditional to the country taking further action against forced labor involving adults...It is opposed by human rights groups which accuse Uzbekistan, the world's fifth-largest cotton exporter, of operating a state-orchestrated forced labor system. Anti-Slavery International said the vote was disappointing and gave a green card to trade in goods produced by forced labor.