Forced labour linked to Indorama loan in Uzbekistan
A complaint has been filed against the World Bank's private lending arm calling for an investigation into forced labour connected to a $40m loan to Indorama Kokand Textile, which operates a cotton processing facility in Uzbekistan.
The victim of forced labour, along with three Uzbek human rights defenders, presented evidence that the loan to expand the company's manufacturing of cotton goods in Uzbekistan allows it to profit from forced labour and to sell illicit goods.
Indorama Kokand Textile is a division of Indorama Corporation, a group of companies headquartered in Singapore known for its Spandex yarns and fabric and yarn brands.
For Indorama and other cotton processors in Uzbekistan, the sole source of cotton is the government's forced-labour production system, according to the Cotton Campaign coalition, the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, International Labor Rights Forum, and Human Rights Watch
The complaint says the goods Indorama and other cotton companies in Uzbekistan process and sell to global companies is made with this forced labour.
The World Bank approved the loan in December 2015, despite a report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) reaffirming the problem of forced labour and the United States' opposition to the loan, due to "forced labour in the cotton sector."
Last week the US government gave Uzbekistan's government the lowest possible ranking in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, stating "government-compelled forced labour of adults remains endemic during the annual cotton harvest."
And an article published on just-style this week suggests that manufacturers, US importers, brands and retailers to scrutinise their supply chains following renewed interest in a US law banning the entry of imported goods made with forced or indentured labour.
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