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XINJIANG – The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has suspended activities with licensed farmers in the Xinjiang region of China for the upcoming cotton season (2020/21) over persistent allegations of forced labour in the region.

This decision comes just two months after the organisation said it would stay in Xinjiang – from which it sources 20 per cent of its ‘better cotton’ – standing with Huafu Fashion Co Ltd, a member of the BCI Council implicated with accusations of using Muslim prisoners. 

BCI says it’s now contracted a global expert to conduct an external review of the situation in Western China before it considers returning and is in the midst of establishing a Task Force on Forced Labour and Decent Work – comprising representatives of Solidaridad, Impactt and Ergon – which will provide guidance in future decision making.

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