The government of Uzbekistan continues to remove millions of children across the country from school and force them to pick cotton during the harvest season. While over 70 of the world’s largest apparel brands and retailers have developed policies related to Uzbek cotton, Forever 21 has remained silent. While Forever 21 says that it “enters into a comprehensive agreement with each of [its] suppliers and vendors under which they promise to utilize legally qualified workers,” this company has not publicly addressed the unique state-sponsored practice of forced child labor in Uzbekistan nor has it provided any information about how it ensures that its suppliers do not use Uzbek cotton tainted by these egregious human rights abuses. So far, Forever 21 has refused to support human rights and speak out against forced child labor in the cotton industry, unlike its top competitors like Abercrombie & Fitch, the Gap and Levi’s.
Your actions make a difference! In the past, your e-mail actions targeting Abercrombie & Fitch, Gymboree, Carter’s and the Children’s Place have led these companies to announce policies prohibiting the use of Uzbek cotton. Take action NOW to tell Forever 21 to respect international labor rights in their cotton sourcing.
Photo credit: jpellgen