The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reported that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) "heard disturbing reports from both workers and employers in regards to millions of children forced into from school into hazardous work in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan," according to a statement on the trade unions' website.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC said:
This Sunday [June 12] is World Day Against Child Labor, and the international union movement calls on Uzbekistan respect fundamental labour rights and to allow an independent committee under the auspices of the ILO to observe the next harvest.
Burrow said that Uzbekistan is one of the world's largest exporters of cotton.
"We ask responsible retail clothing companies to find out where their
cotton is coming from, because we will be working with international
groups to track this terrible trade," she said.