What Not to Wear: Cotton and child slavery
Date: Thu 8 October 2009
|This event has been re-scheduled from June when it was cancelled due to the tube strike|
Uzbekistan is the 3rd biggest exporter of cotton in the world. Its booming cotton industry generates over US$1 billion annually, but the industry, which largely supplies the European market, is underpinned by a system of state sponsored forced labour, particularly of children.
Schools are closed down for the duration of the cotton harvest and children, some as young as ten years old, are sent to the fields to pick cotton by hand for little or no pay. Students who fail to meet their targets or refuse to work are reportedly punished with detentions, beatings or can face expulsion from school. Human rights groups estimate that up to 200,000 children are involved each year.
This discussion will focus on what can be done to end the use of forced labour within the cotton industry. Considering the action taken by some retailers to ban Uzbek cotton from their products, why do other retailers continue to use it? How can we as consumers ensure that we are not inadvertently contributing to the problem?
- Lucy Siegle, journalist, author and presenter (chair)
- Joanna Ewart-James, Anti Slavery International
- Juliette Williams, The Environmental Justice Foundation
- Steve Grinter, International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers' Federation
- Graham Burden, freelance consultant for Sustex (Sustainable Textile Solutions Ltd)
|Event Type||Panel discussion|
|Event venue||The Human Rights Action Centre|
|Price||Free of charge|
|Online tickets||Book this event|