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GENEVA - An independent task force appointed by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to review its Better Cotton Standard System has concluded that gaps in awareness and competence led to "organisational blindness" to forced labour risks.

The 'Task Force on Forced Labour and Decent Work' was set up in April to identify gaps in the system and make recommendations to improve effectiveness in identifying, preventing, mitigating and remediating forced labour risks.

It has concluded that the BCI, which last week finally pulled out of the Xinjiang region of China over forced labour concerns, has given the treatment of workers a "comparatively lower degree of focus and investment" than environmental issues.

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