Ending State-Imposed Forced Labor and Promoting Decent Work in Cotton Supply Chains - FreedomUnited.org
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February 15, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am EST

Ending State-Imposed Forced Labor and Promoting Decent Work in Cotton Supply Chains

State-imposed forced labor is pervasive in global cotton supply chains. Governments use systematic forced labor to produce cotton and cotton products in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur Region) and in Turkmenistan, and these products enter global supply chains.

In 2022, cotton from the Uyghur Region accounted for 90% of total Chinese cotton production, approximately 20% of the global cotton supply. As China is the world’s largest exporter of yarn, fabric, and garments, global brands and retailers are at high risk of using forced labor Uyghur cotton in their products.

Companies also face the risk of forced labor Turkmen cotton entering their products from suppliers in third countries, in particular Turkey. These third country suppliers, which also include Pakistan and Portugal, among others, use Turkmen cotton, yarn, and fabric in the production of garments and textiles which are exported to the EU, the US, and Canada.

This session will discuss what governments and companies can do to ensure that global supply chains are free of cotton produced with all state-imposed forced labor. We will discuss the urgent need for companies and governments to apply a unified standard across jurisdictions to achieve full traceability of cotton supply chains, and to eliminate forced labor cotton.

– Babur Ilchi, Project Manager, Uyghur Human Rights Project
– Ruslan Myatiev, Director, Turkmen News
– Raluca Dumitrescu, Coordinator, the Cotton Campaign
– Hannah Bruce, Head of Global Partnerships, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
– Therese Randazzo, Division Director, Trade Remedy Law Enforcement Directorate, Forced Labor Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

The session will be chaired by Patricia Carrier, Business Engagement Lead, Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region.

This is a Side Session at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector.

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February 15, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am EST