WASHINGTON — The International Labor Rights Forum, a human and labor rights watchdog group, filed a formal complaint on Wednesday with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, seeking to have shipments of products containing cotton from Uzbekistan banned from the U.S. because of the country’s use of forced labor.
The ILRF complaint calls on Customs to issue an immediate detention order on all future and pending cotton goods manufactured by Daewoo International Corp., Indorama Corp. and other companies processing cotton in Uzbekistan. Daewoo International, a South Korea-based company owned by the steel manufacturer Posco, and Indorama Cotton, a Singapore-based multinational that produces yarn, fabrics and organic cotton products, are two of the largest processors of Uzbek cotton, according to the ILRF.
“For decades the government of Uzbekistan…has forced millions of children, teachers, nurses, doctors, public-sector workers and private-sector employees to pick cotton under appalling conditions,” the ILRF said. “Those who refuse are expelled from school, fired from their jobs, denied public benefits or worse. The government combines these penalties with threats, detains and tortures activists seeking to monitor the situation and continues to refuse the International Labor Organization’s efforts to monitor the cotton harvest.”
The watchdog group said Customs has the authority to deny the entry of goods at U.S. ports that contain inputs made with forced labor.
Uzbekistan has exported over 620 tons of cotton yarn and fabric to the U.S. since 2008, the ILRF said, citing U.S. government figures. Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission data indicate at least 23 tons of cotton yarn from Uzbekistan entered the U.S. in February 2013 alone.
“U.S. federal law forbids the importation of goods produced using forced labor,” said Brian Campbell, director of policy and legal programs at the ILRF. “We expect U.S. Customs will conduct a thorough investigation into how cotton from Uzbekistan is escaping detection at U.S. ports of entry and effectively ban all future imports into the United States.”
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)