"We have formed an unprecedented coalition, representing 90 percent of the U.S. purchases of cotton and cotton-based merchandise, to bring these appalling child labor conditions to an end," Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart's vice president of ethical standards, said. "There is no tolerance for forced child labor in the Wal-Mart supply chain."
With Wal-Mart's active participation, four industry trade groups, the American Association of Footwear and Apparel, Retail Industry Leaders Association, National Retail Federation, and the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel sent a joint letter to the Embassy of Uzbekistan on August 18, demanding an immediate end to the use of forced child labor in cotton harvesting
On September 12, the Uzbekistan government issued a plan detailing steps to stop the use of child labor.
Wal-Mart says it will change its instructions to its suppliers when it can independently verify that Uzbekistan has ended the practice.
The Central Asian country of Uzbekistan is among the world's top cotton exporters.