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  • Ildiko Almasi Simsic

Annual update on goods produced by forced or child labour

Every year the US Department of Labor publishes its list of goods produced by child and forced labour in violation of international standards under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorisation Act (TVPRA) of 2005 and subsequent reauthorizations. The report covers 158 goods from 7 different countries as of the end of September 2022.


This report is created to raise public awareness about the use of forced labour and child labour around the world and to cultivate efforts for prevention. The outcome of the report usually feeds into the contextual risk screening on the project level especially if the financing covers a certain sector or area with historically high risk of labour violations.


The interesting thing about the 2022 list is the new additions and notably some previously notorious sectors/countries being removed. I’m adding the full table from the report below:


Additions to the List in 2022:

Country/Area

Child labour

Forced labour

Bangladesh

Garments

Brazil

Acai Berries

Cameroon

Gold

Ecuador

Bovines, Hogs, Poultry, Rice

Ghana

Bovines, Rice, Textiles

India

Tea, Thread/Yarn

Kenya

Cattle

Pakistan

Baked Goods, Bovines, Dairy Products, Electronics, Furniture, Garments, Rice, Textiles

Zimbabwe

Gold


As noted, cotton from Uzbekistan has been removed from the list both for forced labour and for child labour. It is a great achievement for the country. You might have heard that BCI has been active in Uzbekistan. IFC launched an independent sustainable cotton project in Uzbekistan during the 2018-19 cotton season based on the Better Cotton Principles and criteria. Since 2020, BCI have increased their involvement with the IFC financed cotton project and participates in the Decent Work Working Group. There is an ongoing engagement with the Uzbek government as well. Furthermore, since 2022, the Better Cotton Programme is launched in Uzbekistan. The cotton sector in Uzbekistan has gone through very significant changes over the past 4-5 years and as a response to the well-documented issues of systemic forced labour and child labour. The focus of BCI has now shifted towards the effective implementation of freedom of association and labour unions, as well as the appropriate use of employment contracts.




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