Brian updated the committee on developments from last year’s cotton harvest, noting that although the Uzbek government again exempted children under age 15, it maintained the forced-labor system for producing cotton intact. To replace the younger children, the Uzbek government forced children ages 16-17 and more teachers, nurses, other public-sector workers and private-sector employees to pick cotton. Brian also discussed the risks that the forced-labor system creates for companies operating in Uzbekistan or using cotton as well as the outcomes and take-aways from the recent ILO monitoring mission, a first after years of international pressure.
Read the testimony here.
Watch the hearing here.