The US Labor Department made the final decision on the withdrawal of Uzbek cotton from the list of Executive Order No. 13126, a presidential act prohibiting government procurement in the US of goods manufactured using forced child labor, Trend reports with reference to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington.
An open public discussion of this issue began at the end of July last year. American agencies analyzed the views of human rights organizations - the international coalition Cotton Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), as well as official comments submitted by the diplomatic mission of Uzbekistan in Washington.
Commenting on the arguments of the Cotton Campaign Coalition about the premature adoption of such decision, the US Department of Labor pointed out the singularity of cases of child labor, increasing the effectiveness of ongoing investigations and prosecuting offenders.
The decision also notes that a hotline of the state labor inspectorate, legal clinics in the regions of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan, as well as the president’s public reception offices appeared in Uzbekistan, allowing detecting cases of violation of the rights of workers and responding to them.
“After a careful study of the comments received and the information available, the departments determined that the use of forced child labor in cotton harvesting in Uzbekistan was significantly reduced to single incidents. As a result, these products no longer meet the conditions necessary for assignment to the list of the Executive Order,” The US Labor Department noted.
The decision of The US government to exclude cotton from this list allows any US government agency to purchase this product without requiring its certification (that the goods were produced without the use of child and forced labor).
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