Chronicle of the labor situation in Uzbekistan Media review for the period March – May, 2018

This issue of the “Chronicle of Forced Labor in Uzbekistan“ presents an overview of the Uzbek media over the past three months. Since President Mirziyoyev has taken office, a weakening of censorship has been observed, allowing local journalists to cover stories of forced labor more widely. The last three months have been significant with the leadership of Uzbekistan moving away from complete denial of the existence of forced labor, to acknowledgement of the problem and promises to end this vicious practice. The peak period for mass mobilized forced labor is during the cotton harvest. The forthcoming cotton season will show whether the government of Uzbekistan is ready, willing and able to implement the changes they have promised to eradicate the practice. Continue reading “Chronicle of the labor situation in Uzbekistan Media review for the period March – May, 2018”

Report finds ‘Made in Europe’ label tied to garment and shoe production in European sweatshops

A new report published today by the Clean Clothes Campaign, Europe’s Sweatshops, documents endemic poverty wages and other stark working conditions in the garment and shoe industry throughout Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Despite working overtime, many workers in the Ukraine for example make just EUR 89 a month, where a living wage would have to be five times that much. Among customers of the factories are fashion brands like Benetton, Esprit, GEOX, Triumph and Vera Moda.

Continue reading “Report finds ‘Made in Europe’ label tied to garment and shoe production in European sweatshops”

Fabric of Slavery

Large-scale forced (child) labour in India’s spinning mills

New research by the India Committee of Netherlands (ICN) shows that various forms of modern slavery, including child slavery, are found in more than 90% of the spinning mills in South India. These spinning mills produce yarn for India, Bangladeshi and Chinese garment factories that produce for the Western market.
The report Fabric of Slavery exposes the scale on which young girls and women are enslaved by employers who withhold their wages or lock them up in company-controlled hostels. They work long hours, face sexual harassment and do not even earn the minimum wage. Gerard Oonk, director of ICN: “We have raised the issue for five years now, but even to us the scale of this problem came as a shock.”

Continue reading “Fabric of Slavery”

Tax Shopping. Exploring Zara’s tax avoidance business.

The Greens/EFA in the European Parliament reveal  that Inditex has saved at least €585 million in taxes during the period 2011-2014, by using aggressive corporate tax avoidance techniques, mainly in the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. You may not know Inditex, but you surely know Zara, Massimo Dutti or Pull&Bear, some of the brands owned by Inditex. Our research looked in detail at their financial accounts and shows how some of their profits are moved to the Netherlands through royalties. Royalty payments are made by many companies for the right to use a brand name. Continue reading “Tax Shopping. Exploring Zara’s tax avoidance business.”