• Petitioned President,

This petition was delivered to:

European Parliment

Tell European Parliament to Stop Supporting Forced Child Labor in the Cotton Industry

    1. Petition by

      Gemma Wolfes

      London, United Kingdom

Child slavery is an ongoing problem in Uzbekistan's cotton industry. Around 90 per cent of Uzbek cotton is harvested by hand with approximately half of all cotton picked by state-sponsored forced child labour. Human rights groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of children are involved each year.

Uzbekistan is the sixth largest producer of cotton in the world and the third biggest exporter, generating over US$1 billion annually through the export of around 850,000 tonnes of cotton every year. Cotton is currently enjoying a 200 year-high price and Uzbekistan's President Karimov recently announced that the profit from this year's cotton harvest is expected to increase by 35 per cent. Despite these profits, those ordered to pick the cotton remain impoverished.

The single biggest destination for Uzbek cotton is the European market. Despite strong condemnation from the European Union over the use of child slavery in Uzbek cotton production, the EU continues to allow the Government of Uzbekistan to benefit from reduced trading tariffs for its cotton imports to the EU despite its own rules that these benefits should be withdrawn.

Sign the Cotton Crimes petition here calling on upon the President of the European Parliament to stop child slavery.

Recent signatures


    1. Success! EU rejects Uzbek cotton trade deal until child labour is addressed

      Brie Rogers Lowery
      Country Director, UK

      Great news from the European Parliament! MEPs have overwhelmingly rejected a deal to extend a trade deal with Uzbekistan due to concerns over the ongoing use of forced child labour in the country’s cotton industry.
      603 MEPs voted to send back proposed legislation that could have resulted in the EU increasing its textile imports from Uzbekistan, including cotton harvested by children in slavery, until the issue of forced child labour has been addressed. Only 8 MEPs voted against.
      This is a fantastic response from MEPs who have overwhelmingly rejected this trade deal to take a very strong stance on the ongoing used of forced child labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. This vote is one very positive step in the right direction for the EU to be taking much harsher action on the issue.
      Read more here: http://antislavery.org/english/campaigns/cottoncrimes/cottoncrimesblog.aspx

    2. Reached 9,000 signatures
    3. Petition to be handed into EU Parliament tomorrow - help reach 10,000!

      Brie Rogers Lowery
      Country Director, UK

      Please help Gemma reach 10,000 signatures by sharing the petition with your friends either via Facebook or Twitter using the share box on the left.
      A group of school children from Eastbourne will be handing in the petition tomorrow to the EU Parliament in Brussels.
      You can follow: http://twitter.com/anti_slavery or http://twitter.com/ukchange for live updates from the petition hand-in.

    4. Reached 7,500 signatures
    5. Petition will be delivered to EU Parliament by UK school children next week

      Brie Rogers Lowery
      Country Director, UK

      On the 7th December 2011 schoolchildren from Bishop Bell School in Eastbourne, UK will deliver this petition to the European Parliament - please help Gemma get as many signatures as possible by then!

      Catherine Bearder, MEP for South-East England, invited the students to Brussels after they wrote to her to express their concern about buying clothes made by children in slavery and asked her to take up the issue at the European Parliament.

      You can follow Anti-Slavery International on the day via Facebook and Twitter for live updates from the students who will be lobbying MEPs about this issue ahead of a key Parliamentary vote regarding an Uzbek-EU trade deal, which could make it easier for Uzbekistan to import textiles into Europe - stay tuned for more information.

    6. Reached 3,000 signatures
    7. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Gymboree, a U.S.-based company, just announced its ban on Uzbek cotton. Will Europe follow?

    8. Reached 1 signatures
    9. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Uzbekistan is relaxing standards on how they are paid for cotton -- a sign that they're looking for trading partners who ask fewer questions about child labor!

    10. Reached 1 signatures
    11. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Did you know reusable cotton grocery bags can be harmful to the environment and kids in Uzbekistan. Find out why and how you can buy better cotton:

    12. Reached 750 signatures
    13. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Not only is the EU supporting child labor in Uzbekistan, now the World Bank is funding it too!

    14. Reached 500 signatures
    15. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      UNICEF reports "some limited success" on fighting child labor in the Uzbek cotton industry. Let's help make that maximum success.

    16. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Cotton prices are now the highest they've been since the U.S. Civil War, but Uzbek child laborers aren't seeing the extra cash:

    17. Reached 250 signatures
    18. Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      New study shows forced child labor in Uzbekistan continued through the end of 2010:

    19. European Parliament Supports Forced Child Labor

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Last September, hundreds of thousands of children in Uzbekistan were pulled out of school and forced to work long hours picking cotton by hand. This September, it will happen again. After all, the compulsory cotton harvest in Uzbekistan is government...


    Reasons for signing

    • Debra Sewall APPLETON, WI
      • over 2 years ago

      Greed = Madness.

    • Emilia Slavkova SOFIA, BULGARIA
      • over 2 years ago

      I''m against child slavery

    • Emily Dale JACKSONVILLE, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      Child labor, especially that which is forced, is a travesty beyond compare and should be denounced by the European Parliament forthwith.

    • Jane Davidson ENGLEWOOD, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      Kids belong in school to train for a productive future.. They are not to be destroyed in slavery.

    • Cindy Roett MONTREAL, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      Why not sign?


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