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Global Risks Forecast™

Increased use of forced, child labour for cotton harvest likely

Increased use of forced, child labour for cotton harvest likely

Economic crisis is deepening in Turkmenistan and farmers are warning of meagre harvests for both wheat and cotton. We expect that the poor harvest outlook will result in increased use of forced and child labour in the 2018 cotton harvest, likely to start in August.

Turkmenistan is already scored as extreme risk in our Cotton-specific indices with a score of 1.80/10.00 in our Forced Labour Index and 2.50/10.00 in our Child Labour Index.

The US has banned imports of all Turkmen cotton adding compliance risks to pre-existing reputational risks of sourcing cotton from Turkmenistan.

The grain harvest has begun early this year, at the start of June – possibly with the intention of providing further flour for the domestic market amid reports of persistent food shortages. Reports suggest that farmers are collecting unripe wheat as a consequence. 

Farmers, moreover, complain that the state has failed to provide fertilizer and irrigation. These factors will in all probability also negatively affect the cotton harvest. 

The poor harvest outlook will put pressure on regional authorities to deliver on state-mandated quotas increasing the use of forced and child labour. State-orchestrated child labour returned to Turkmenistan in 2017, when the harvest was also poor.

To discuss this topic with an analyst or to request a Country Risk Report contact info@maplecroft.com
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