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The Problem with Uzbek Cotton

The Uzbek government uses local government officials, hospital directors, and school presidents to mobilize workers; and detains and tortures human rights defenders seeking to monitor the harvests. The government dictates the price of inputs (seeds and fertilizers), controls irrigation, tells the farmers what to plant and when to plant it, and purchases the crops for below the market price. This abusive practice, a relic of Uzbekistan’s Soviet past, earns the Government of Uzbekistan over one billion dollars annually.

Your participation in the Uzbek Cotton Pledge - by signing as a brand or retailer, or by supporting companies that have signed the pledge - will help end these atrocious human rights violations.


Company Pledge Against Forced Labor in the Cotton Sector of Uzbekistan

We, the undersigned companies are working to ensure that forced labor does not find its way into our products. We are aware of reports documenting the systemic use of forced labor in Uzbekistan's cotton production. We are collaborating with a multi-stakeholder coalition to raise awareness of this very serious concern, and press for its elimination.

As a signatory to this pledge, we are stating our firm opposition to the use of forced labor in Uzbekistan's cotton production. We commit to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton for the manufacturing of any of our products until the Government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced labor in its cotton sector. Until the elimination of this practice is independently verified by the International Labour Organization as well as determined by the Cotton Campaign, we will maintain this pledge.


In response to the evolving situation in Uzbekistan, the pledge was updated on July 10, 2018. To read more about the 2017 harvest and the recent edits to the pledge, check out this blog post

Companies do not need to re-sign the pledge. Please email the Responsible Sourcing Network with any further questions.


Source: Responsible Sourcing Network