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Uzbekistan: Major retailers call for end of child labour in cotton

Date: 15 Aug 2008

A coalition representing the US major retail and clothing companies has called on Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov to tackle the endemic presence of child labour in the country's production of cotton, saying that the current situation is 'totally unacceptable'.

The move included the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the American Apparel and Footwear Association and the Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel.

Retailers in the US and UK have started to take action by avoiding Uzbek cotton in their merchandise following reports of forced child labour in the sector. Companies include Gap, Marks & Spencer, Target and Tesco. Although child labour is banned in Uzbekistan, the country has largely turned a blind eye to widespread practice to the contrary.

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