Lawyers challenge UK import of 'slavery-tainted' Uzbek cotton

Rights team argues preferential tariffs promote goods produced by hundreds of thousands of unpaid labourers in Uzbekistan

The government is facing legal action to try and stop the importation of cotton harvested with state-sponsored forced labour from Uzbekistan into the UK.

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights and the Global Legal Action Network (Glan), a team of human rights lawyers, are launching a judicial review of preferential tariffs applied to Uzbek cotton, arguing that it is promoting the importation of goods tainted with modern slavery. The country has faced sustained criticism over the mass enforced mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks to work as unpaid labourers during harvest and planting seasons.

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