Uzbekistan is the world's second largest cotton exporter. The state forces up to 1/3 of the people in their country to pick cotton by hand on state run cotton farms. Most of these are children. One of the videos shows a child talking about how their teacher told them to go pick cotton.
Uzbekistan will close down schools just so children can go pick cotton. Thy separate the kids from their families and force them to live in camps together during the picking season. Often they drink the irrigation water, which is not meant for drinking, because they have no other water source.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
STEP 1: Watch the videos below
STEP 2: Read Tim Newman's article
STEP 3: Sign the petition to clothing maker Abercrombie & Fitch. Dozens of the top clothing retailers have already agreed to stop using Uzbek cotton, except for Abercrombie & Fitch. (See list below)
We need to work with retailers to let them know that slavery exists in their product chain and that it's important to us, as loyal customers, that they weed it out. (see previous article about how businesses can help combat slavery)
STEP 4: Ask your retailer where their cotton comes from. It might seem weird at first, but it's worth it.
Here is a list of companies that have made commitments to Stop Using Uzbek Cotton: