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.

Still Waiting: Bangladeshi workers seek compensation

Publication Date: 

October 23, 2013

Six months after the Rana Plaza building collapse and eleven months after the Tazreen Fashions fire, the injured workers and the families who lost loved ones face immense financial hardship. In addition to the physical pain and psychological trauma, they are suffering from loss of income while continuing to await full and fair compensation from government, factory owners, and European and North American brands and retailers.

Forced labour in Turkmenistan Cotton Harvest Monitoring Report, Part II

Publication Date: 

October 1, 2013

This is the second part of the Cotton harvest campaign monitoring prepared by Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN), a civil media initiative founded in 2010. The key message of this monitoring is that by sending tens of thousands of state-employed people to harvest cotton every autumn the Turkmen authorities for years have been violating the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Convention №105, which prohibits forced labor and Convention №29 on forced labor.

The Walmart Effect: Child and Worker Rights Violations at Narong Seafood

Publication Date: 

September 24, 2013

Each year Thailand’s shrimp industry exports hundreds of thousands of tons of shrimp, (worth roughly USD 1.5 billion) to the United States, its largest export market. The shrimp are raised on farms, peeled, cooked, processed and packaged by a low‐paid workforce that is made up almost entirely of migrant workers from Burma, Cambodia and Laos. Many of these workers are trafficked into the country by labor brokers and are often subjected to labor exploitation and debt bondage.

Monitoring of Forced Labor during Cotton Harvest Campaign in Turkmenistan, Part I

Publication Date: 

September 1, 2013

Despite the fact that on May 15, 1997 Turkmenistan signed and ratified the ILO Convention #105, which prohibits forced labor, and Convention #29 on forced labor, every year tens of thousands of residents of Turkmenistan are forced to harvest cotton. In so doing Turkmenistan is violating the responsibilities taken on by joining the ILO and violating its own labor law, chapter 8 of which defines forced labor as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.”

Child Labor in Cottonseed Production: Investigation and Advocacy

Publication Date: 

July 8, 2013
With support from the International Labor Rights Forum, Prayas Centre for Labor Research and Action investigated the incidence of child labor in cottonseed production and cotton ginning in Gujarat, and carried out advocacy with state, civil society, and business against the persistence of child labor in these two sectors. This report documents the findings and efforts in the cottonseed sector.

Open letter to Senators Mitchell and Snowe

Publication Date: 

June 27, 2013

Dear Senators Mitchell and Snowe:

In the last eight years, more than 1,800 garment workers have been killed in preventable factory fires and building collapses in Bangladesh. They have died because global apparel brands have demanded clothing to be manufactured at the lowest prices in the world, and because the government and industry have ignored safety standards to keep down costs.