NCC: Forced labor must be eliminated in cotton, textiles
Posted September 23, 2020
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) announced that it has reiterated its absolute opposition to any forced labor practices within the global production of cotton and textiles.
“Unfortunately, these are not new questions facing the global textile supply chain, and we urge companies to implement the internal measures necessary to ensure that their supply chains do not include forced or child labor,” NCC President & CEO Gary Adams said. “It is important to recognize that forced labor practices can occur throughout other product supply chains and not just within cotton fiber and textile production. As a result, manmade fiber supply chains must be given the same level of scrutiny.”
He further noted that the complexity of global textile supply chains can make it very challenging to verify whether a specific textile or apparel product was made using forced labor at some point in the supply chain. In order to be the most effective, policies to combat forced labor or other human rights abuses should be focused and specific in order to identify the companies or entities deemed to be engaged in those practices.
The NCC urges the U.S. government to accelerate efforts to develop technologies that can enable downstream identification of articles that have been produced with forced labor so that any sanctions can be uniformly and accurately applied.
Adams said the industry looks forward to continuing to work with its customers to promote textile supply chains that utilize more U.S. cotton and U.S.-produced yarns and fabrics. The high labor standards and practices in the United States make U.S. cotton a responsible choice for brands, retailers, and consumers.