Dangerous Silence: Exchanges Turn Blind Eye to Suppliers

Publication Date: 

February 12, 2014

In a year when the tragedies at Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions have spurred both governments and private retailers and apparel brands to take action for a safer Bangladeshi garment industry, retail operations run by the U.S. government have been conspicuously quiet. The U.S. military exchanges use some of the same factories as private retailers and brands to make their own private-label apparel in Bangladesh and operate more than 1,100 retail stores on military installations in all 50 states and more than 30 countries around the world. As large buyers of apparel and as agents of the U.S.

Vietnam's Forced Labor Centers

Publication Date: 

January 15, 2014

In 2011, Human Rights Watch released a shocking report on how Vietnamese citizens struggling with drug addiction were being beaten, tortured and forced to work in compulsory drug detention centers. Vietnamese officials reacted defensively, dismissing the report as “groundless” and asserting that the drug centers are an effective, humane method of dealing with a growing drug problem.

2013 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan: State Forced-Labour System Continues

Publication Date: 

November 27, 2013
This year, the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan began in early September and ended in mid-November. The Uzbek government systematically forced farmers to produce state-established quotas and children and adults to pick cotton in one of the largest state-orchestrated systems of forced labour in the world. 

Forced Labour in the Cotton Sector of Turkmenistan, Monitoring the Cotton Harvest 2013

Publication Date: 

November 1, 2013

The practice of forced labor in the cotton sector began in the Soviet period and has continued without interruption to this day. It is used on a massive scale, despite the fact that cotton is no longer the chief export commodity for Turkmenistan. Every season, tens of thousands of Turkmens from cities and the countryside are forced to work in the cotton fields. Mandatory standards are set for the amount of cotton harvested, and those who refuse to go to the fields or are unable to meet the quota are either fired from work or are punished in other ways.