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Stores urged to stop using child labour cotton.

Summary: Campaigners are calling on high street retailers to stop selling clothes made with cotton which may have been picked by children.

Anti-slavery campaigners are calling on two leading high street retailers to stop selling clothes made with cotton which may have been picked by children.

Anti-Slavery International and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) have accused H&M and Zara of using cotton suppliers in Bangladesh.

It is thought many of their raw materials come from Uzbekistan, where children as young as 10 are forced to work in the fields.

They are calling on retailers to ban the use of Uzbek cotton and implement "track and trace" systems to make sure the source of the material can be vouched for.

H&M said it "does not accept" child labour and "seeks to avoid" using Uzbek cotton. But the company said it did "not have any reliable methods" to ensure Uzbek cotton did not end up in any of its products. Inditex, which owns Zara, said its code of conduct bans child labour.

Joanna Ewart-James, Anti-Slavery's supply chain co-ordinator, said: "The British public do not want to be supporting child slavery, especially at a time of the year when they will be giving loved ones Christmas jumpers or a pair of socks as presents."

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Dec 26, 2009
Words:237
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