In the News

Campaign Protests IKEA, Big Clothing Chains Selling Turkmenistan Cotton

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
Duvet covers and pillow shams sold by IKEA are produced in Turkmenistan, a country which has been compared to North Korea because of its seclusion and tight control over its citizens.
The bedding products from IKEA's supplier in Turkmenistan are marketed around the world under the model names Malou and Nyponros, according to an investigation by OCCRP’s partner, the Swedish news agency TT.

H&M bans cotton from Turkmenistan and Syria

H&M, a Swedish multinational retail clothing company, has put a ban on cotton from Turkmenistan and Syria due to underage workers involved in cotton cultivation, the company said in a press release.
The company which known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children, has signed a commitment requirement with all its suppliers that they don't buy cotton from Turkmenistan or Syria. The suppliers that do not sign the commitment would not be allowed to work with H&M.

H&M and its suppliers commit to not buying cotton from Turkmenistan or Syria

EPR Retail News
The suppliers that do not sign the commitment will not be allowed to work with H&M. H&M has an equivalent ban on cotton from Uzbekistan since 2013.
The reason for this ban is that H&M under no circumstances accepts underage workers and/or forced labor being used anywhere in our value chain, including in cotton cultivation. Unfortunately this is sometimes the case in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and H&M does therefore not accept conventional cotton from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan or Syria in our products.

Uzbekistan urged to stop impeding rights defender's work

World Bulletin
A number of human rights advocating NGOs have urged Uzbek authorities Tuesday to stop harassing the human rights defender Uktam Pardaev and lift the unlawful restrictions on his fundamental rights imposed by police.
The list of organizations stepping forward for Pardaev include the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International Partnership for Human Rights, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and Human Rights Watch.

US urged to relegate Uzbekistan over forced labour

The Cotton Campaign, a global coalition of human rights, labor, investor and business organizations dedicated to eradicating child labor and forced labor in cotton production, has urged the US government downgrade Uzbekistan to its lowest level in its upcoming trafficking report in response to the country's continued use of forced labour in cotton harvests.

Peru Labor Report on the Way


The Department of Labor could release a report next month responding to a complaint that Peru is failing to comply with labor standards under a 2009 trade agreement with the U.S., said Eric Gottwald, legal and policy director for the International Labor Rights Forum.

US urged to downgrade Uzbekistan in trafficking report


The US apparel and footwear industry has urged its government to downgrade Uzbekistan to the lowest tier in its upcoming trafficking report in response to the country's continued use of forced labour in its cotton harvests.

A report submitted by the Cotton Campaign to support the calls has been endorsed by a group of 36 industry associations, brands, and labour and retail groups, including the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).

BJ's Wholesale Club Pledges Support to Help End Forced Labor in Uzbekistan

3BL Media
WESTBOROUGH, Mass., January 27, 2016 /3BL Media/ - BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., continues its opposition on the use of forced labor by joining over 200 other brands and companies in signing the Cotton Pledge, managed by the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN). Under this pledge, BJ’s has agreed to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton for the manufacturing of any of its products until the Government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced labor in its cotton sector.