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U.S. Bans Import of Cotton Products from Turkmenistan

Thursday 24 May 2018

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has banned all imports of cotton goods from Turkmenistan, amid accusations of extensive use of child and forced labour in cotton harvesting.

Members of the U.S. Cotton Campaign, Alternative Turkmenistan News, and International Labor Rights Forum had petitioned the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ban importation of all goods made with Turkmen cotton that was produced with forced labour. U.S. law prohibits the importation of products produced through slave or child labour or by violating labour laws. However, the Withhold Release Order, filed by CBP service on May 18 and made public on May 24, did not specify the reason for the ban.

Several leading global retailers, including H&M and IKEA, have said they were no longer using Turkmen cotton and textiles in their products.

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