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TELL DAEWOO TO STOP OPERATIONS IN UZBEKISTAN. FORCED LABOUR IS UNACCEPTABLE

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess

TELL DAEWOO TO STOP OPERATIONS IN UZBEKISTAN. FORCED LABOUR IS UNACCEPTABLE 101431 of 115000 ... Help us reach 115K Yes, keep me updated about other WalkFree.org campaigns. ACT NOW WalkFree.org will protect your privacy and keep you up to date on this and other campaigns. Thank You For Taking Action Now help us spread the word- tell your friends to join you in asking Daewoo to help end forced labour in Uzbekistan. SHARETWEET+1EMAIL

Daewoo publicly acknowledges that the Uzbek government uses forced labour to produce the cotton it buys and processes. DEMAND that Daewoo pledge its opposition to the government's forced labour system and stop its operations in Uzbekistan.

You may have heard of Daewoo cars or electronics but did you know that Daewoo is the largest processor of slave labour picked Uzbek cotton?

In Uzbekistan’s last cotton harvest, eleven citizens forced to pick cotton lost their lives. The tragic losses included Tursunali Sadikov, a 63-year-old farmer who died of a heart attack after being beaten by an official of the Department of Internal Affairs, and Amirbek Rakhmatov, a six-year-old schoolboy who accompanied his mother to the cotton fields, napped in a trailer, and suffocated when cotton was loaded on top of him.1

Daewoo has continued doing business in Uzbekistan even after publicly acknowledging that the Uzbek government uses forced labour to produce the cotton it buys and processes.2 Call on Daewoo to send a strong message to the Uzbek government that forced labour cannot continue by:
stopping operations in Uzbekistan until the International Labour Organization has verified this practice has ended.
publicly pledging its opposition to the Uzbek government’s forced labour system. SOURCES http://www.cottoncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013CottonHarvest_end_report.pdf ↩ http://business-humanrights.org/media/documents/company_responses/daewoo-re-ilrf-petition-11-06-13.pdf ↩ Image source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Uzbek Service


On Thurs, June 5, 2014 at 1:27 PM, Debra Rosen wrote:

Dear Peter,

You may think forced labour in cotton fields has been consigned to the history books, a relic of the transatlantic slave trade.

But in Uzbekistan every year over a million children and adults are forced into the cotton fields by their government to meet daily picking quotas during the harvest season. Doctors are dragged from their hospitals. Some colleges stand empty as teachers and students are forced to work the fields.

And it doesn’t end there. In Uzbekistan’s last cotton harvest, eleven citizens forced to pick cotton lost their lives, including Tursunali Sadikov, a 63­-year-­old farmer who died of a heart attack after being beaten by an official of the Department of Internal Affairs.1

Surely no company would want to be associated with this despicable trade? Unfortunately there are some pretty big customers for Uzbekistan’s slave-picked cotton -- Daewoo International being the biggest.

Daewoo has continued doing business in Uzbekistan even after publicly acknowledging that the Uzbek government uses forced labour to produce the cotton it buys and processes.2 If Daewoo were to stop operations in Uzbekistan and publicly pledge its opposition to the Uzbek government’s forced labour system, Daewoo would send a strong message to the Uzbek government that forced labour cannot continue.

Tell Daewoo to stop doing business with Uzbekistan until the government has ended the use of forced labour in its cotton industry.

The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan is one of the largest producers of cotton globally. While the Uzbek authorities and companies like Daewoo continue to rake in the profits from the cotton trade, children and adults subjected to this state­-orchestrated system of modern slavery miss out on education or their wages, and many citizens are threatened and beaten.

Well over 100 apparel companies from all over the world have taken a stand and pledged not to buy Uzbek cotton, to push the Uzbek government to end its slave labour system. Whilst these companies are sending a strong message, Daewoo continues to do direct business with the government of Uzbekistan, undermining the commitments undertaken by well­-known retailers. In return, Daewoo benefits from a discounted price for Uzbek cotton and tax incentives from the Uzbek government.

Call on Daewoo to help end modern slavery in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.

Thank you in advance for your support. If you have a moment, please forward this email to 3 of your friends so we can move one step closer to building a world free of modern slavery.

In solidarity,

Debra, Jayde, Joanna, Mich and the Walk Free team

P.S. If you agree it’s unacceptable for any company to knowingly profit from slavery, click to send this message to Daewoo now: http://www.walkfree.org/daewoo-cotton/

1 http://www.cottoncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013CottonHarvest_end_report.pdf
2 http://business-humanrights.org/media/documents/company_responses/daewoo-re-ilrf-petition-11-06-13.pdf

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