Uzbekistan: Cotton Campaign & senior govt. officials meet & commit to further steps needed to eliminate forced labour

Author: The Cotton Campaign, Published on: 18 February 2019

"Cotton Campaign Meets with Senior Uzbek Officials in Washington​ - Parties Agree to Intensify Dialogue on Ending Forced Labor", 15 Feb 2019

The Cotton Campaign hosted the first-ever, high-level delegation of Uzbek government officials to join its annual strategy meeting on February 4 at a pivotal time for reform to end forced labor in Uzbekistan. Building on discussions in May 2018, when a Cotton Campaign delegation visited Tashkent, the two sides agreed on broad areas of further progress that are necessary to achieve lasting reform... Led by the Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbaeva...[t]he delegation traveled to Washington, D.C. at the invitation of the Cotton Campaign to meet with its partners including Uzbek civil society activists, international human rights and labor rights organizations, trade unions, academic experts, responsible investors, and apparel trade associations... Despite significant progress in publicly acknowledging and allowing Uzbek media to cover forced labor as well as reducing harassment against and allowing access for human rights activists monitoring the harvest, state-organized forced labor remained systemic in Uzbekistan’s late 2018 cotton harvest... A key point of discussion during the strategy meetings was the Uzbek Cotton Pledge, a commitment from 310 apparel brands to not “knowingly source” cotton from Uzbekistan until it is no longer produced with government-organized forced labor... 

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