Cotton Campaign urges successors to end state-sponsored forced labor & cotton crimes in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s President for the past 27 years, Islam Karimov, passed away earlier this month, potentially opening the door to a new era for Central Asia’s most populous country. Emerging leaders in Uzbekistan have an opportunity to now engage constructively with the international community and build on recent developments initiated under Karimov by ending the use of forced labor in the country’s cotton sector.
The boiler explosion and resulting fire and structural collapse at the Tampaco Foils Ltd factory in Bangladesh demonstrates the ongoing dangers to industrial workers in that country and the failure of global corporations to take meaningful steps to protect the safety of workers in their supply chains. According to its corporate website, Tampaco Foils’ customers include two of the world’s largest consumer products brands: Nestle and British American Tobacco.
The second field investigation in a year documents systemic labor violations on Indofood-owned palm oil plantations in Indonesia
An independent report released earlier this week has again found that labor violations are rife in the palm oil plantations owned and operated by global food giant PepsiCo’s joint venture partner Indofood. Indofood is the sole producer of PepsiCo-branded snack food in Indonesia and one of the largest palm oil growers in the world.
Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum are delighted to report that a scheme set up to provide compensation to people affected by the Tazreen Fashions fire of 2012 has now completed its work of providing loss of income payments to all injured workers and to the dependents of those who were killed.
(Washington, DC) – A victim of forced labor in cotton production and three Uzbek human rights defenders filed a complaint on June 30, 2016 against the World Bank’s private lending arm, the Cotton Campaign coalition, the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, International Labor Rights Forum, and Human Rights Watch announced today.
Move unwarranted and could slow progress, according to international coalition
(Washington, DC) - The U.S. State Department has removed Thailand from the lowest ranking in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in a move that an international coalition of human rights, labor and environmental organizations said in a letter to U.S.
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan downgraded in annual anti-trafficking report
Today the US State Department gave the governments of both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan well-deserved downgrades to Tier 3, the lowest possible ranking, in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Both governments continue to coercively mobilize citizens to grow and harvest cotton each year in two of the world’s largest remaining systems of state-sponsored forced labor.
Правительство Узбекистана насильно содержало Елену в поликлинике более чем месяц
После более чем месяца насильственного содержания в Ташкентской городской клинической психиатрической больнице, узбекскую правозащитницу Елену Урлаеву все же выпустили 1-го Июня. Елена Урлаева, глава местной правозащитной группы «Правозащитный альянс Узбекистана», добровольно зарегистрировалась в больнице 9-го Марта. Когда пришло время для выписки в конце Апреля, сотрудники клиники отказались ее выпустить сославшись на официальные указания «сверху», таким образом превратив ее больничную палату в тюремную камеру.
The government of Uzbekistan should immediately release activist Elena Urlaeva from the Tashkent City Psychiatric Clinic, said the Cotton Campaign today. Urlaeva, a well-known activist and the elected leader of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (PAU), checked into the hospital on March 9 after experiencing multiple traumatic events. In late April, Urlaeva’s doctor informed her and her son that she was in good health and would be released on May 2.
As H&M shareholders prepare to meet in Sweden tomorrow, the Clean Clothes Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network, and Worker Rights Consortium have released a report showing that the majority of H&M’s Bangladeshi supplier factories are still not safe.
Today, at a briefing on Capitol Hill, Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Jan Schakowsky introduced a resolution expressing that the United States should support and protect “the right of women working in developing countries to safe workplaces, free from gender-based violence, reprisals, and intimidation.” The bicameral resolution was introduced in the Senate by Senator Patty Murray, cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown, Ed Markey, and Barbara Mikulski.
Labor rights groups in Europe, Bangladesh and North America are today launching a call for consumers to participate in a global day of action on May 3rd. The protests, which will coincide with H&M’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in Solna, Sweden, will demand H&M finally keep its promises to make its Bangladeshi supplier factories safe.
Formal Complaint Filed Today Under the Tariff Act of 1930
(Washington, DC) - Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) and International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), partners in the Cotton Campaign, today filed a formal complaint against the importation of cotton goods from Turkmenistan, all of which are made with forced labor. Under the recently amended Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. Customs is required to deny entry to goods that arrive at U.S. ports that contain materials made with forced labor.
On March 16th and 17th, 2016, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent letters to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on two separate cases that illustrate the dangers faced by Honduran labor and human rights defenders.
New report documents state-led forced labor in 2015 cotton harvest within World Bank project areas in Uzbekistan
(March 9, 2016, Washington, DC): Today Uzbek civil society activists and more than 140,000 people from around the world presented a petition to World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, calling on the Bank to suspend lending to the agriculture sector in Uzbekistan until the Uzbek government changes its policy of forced labor in the cotton industry.
More progress is needed to ensure human rights are respected groups say
A coalition of nearly 30 labor, environmental and human rights organizations sent a letter to the European Commission on Feb. 17 asking it to extend for at least another six months. The letter asks the Committee to take human rights into account when assessing Thailand’s seafood sector.
The Clean Clothes Campaign, the International Labor Rights Forum, the Maquila Solidarity Network, and the Worker Rights Consortium are deeply disturbed to hear of another serious fire breaking out at a garment factory in Bangladesh – the factory supplies H&M and JC Penney, according to public records. The fire service is reporting that some injuries were sustained, but no details have been provided to date.
As Swedish fashion giant H&M prepares to announce a predicted increase in their profits for 2015, labor rights groups are calling on the company to do more to protect garment workers in Bangladesh, after a review of H&M’s strategic suppliers shows that severe delays in carrying out urgent and vital building repairs continue to leave tens of thousands of workers at risk of death and injury.