Press Releases

For media inquiries please contact Rachel Cohen: racohen78 [at]

Jailing of Trade Unionists is Embarrassing Brands and Jeopardizing Future of Garment Industry

Groups Cite Major Articles in World’s Leading Newspaper as Evidence of the Growing Risk to the Industry’s International Image

Four leading international labor rights organizations, the Worker Rights Consortium, the International Labor Rights Forum, the Clean Clothes Campaign, and the Maquila Solidarity Network, issued the following statement on the current labor rights crisis in Bangladesh:

International Delegation to Fyffes Melon Plantations in Honduras


From January 23rd to January 25th an international delegation made up of representatives from Banana Link, GMB, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), 3F (General Union of Danish Workers) and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Tobacco and Allied Workers (IUF) arrived in Honduras to follow up on the serious situation facing hundreds of workers in the melon plantations owned by the Irish fruit company Fyffes, located in the south of the country.

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety overstates progress

Walmart, Gap, VF, Target & Hudson’s Bay Have Failed to Address Deadly Hazards in Many Factories, But Bangladesh Alliance Downplays the Problem with Rosy Status Reports

Three and a half years after the catastrophic Rana Plaza building collapse, major apparel brands and retailers that are part of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety are failing to fulfill their commitments to make their supplier factories safe, leaving hundreds of thousands workers at risk, according to a new report by labor rights groups. The report, “Dangerous Delays on Worker Safety,” is the first independent study on progress at factories producing for Alliance members.

ILRF opposes lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order


One of President Obama’s key initiatives to improve wages and working conditions in federal government supply chains, the executive order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, is under attack by a coalition of federal contractors who have filed a lawsuit seeking to delay or prevent its implementation. 

Stop Trafficking by Sea


“Modern slavery doesn’t happen only in warzones. It exists in areas of both darkness and plain sight of people all over the world – even at sea … there are many, many stories … where unscrupulous fishermen use the isolation of the sea to hide their crimes … And the reasons aren’t hard to figure out. When criminals are able to turn a profit in an illegal fishing market, they’ll go after as many fish as possible. …the more labor they have on board, the larger their catches will be.

World Bank Potentially Liable for Supporting Forced Labor in Uzbekistan

ILRF report finds World Bank in violation of international law on responsibility of international organizations for financial complicity in international crimes

A report by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) finds that the World Bank is committing a serious violation of international law by knowingly providing agricultural loans to the government of Uzbekistan that are used to sustain its state-orchestrated system of forced labor in the cotton sector.

After Karimov, What's Next?

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. 

Labor Rights Groups Respond to Tampaco Foils Factory Fire


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.

Global Food Giants PepsiCo, Indofood Linked to Poverty Wages, Worker Exploitation and Discrimination

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.

Forced Labor Linked to World Bank Corporate Loan in Uzbekistan

Complaint Filed in Cotton Production Case

(Русский вариант)

(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. 

United States takes strong stand against forced labor in cotton

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.

Правозащитник Елена Урлаева освобождена

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.

Uzbekistan Government Detains Human Rights Defender Elena Urlaeva


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.

Resolution to Protect Women in Global Supply Chains


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.