Gymboree must end its silence on forced child labor and increased repression in Uzbekistan, says Tim Newman of the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF).
The ILRF has launched a petition at Change.org to call on Gymboree to join other major garment companies in taking a stand against forced child labor in Uzbekistan by publicly opposing the abuse of children in the cotton harvest.
The petition has already gathered 2,800 signatures, but so far, Gymboree has not responded.
When concerned activists posted some photographs of children working in the fields at the Gymboree Facebook fan page, they were swiftly removed by company representatives.
Newman says Gymboree executives are profiting from ignoring the child labor issue in Uzbekistan.
The children's clothing store was recently acquired by a private investment firm, Bain Capital; current and former executives of Bain Capital raked in $49 million in stocks from the deal.
Gymboree began coming to the attention of labor and human rights groups when it failed to join the top global clothing companies in opposing the widespread use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry and pledging to work toward removing Uzbek cotton from their supply chain. Now, Gymboree has been named one of the "Human Trafficking Zeroes" for failing to do anything to stop the problem.