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Wal-Mart Takes Action to End Forced Child Labor in Uzbekistan

Submitted by: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Categories: Business Ethics, Human Rights

Posted: Sep 30, 2008 – 12:05 PM EST

 

Instructs Suppliers to Cease Sourcing of Cotton from Uzbekistan

Sep. 30 /CSRwire/ - BENTONVILLE, ARK. - September 30, 2008 - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has instructed its global supply base to cease sourcing cotton and cotton materials from Uzbekistan in an effort to persuade the Uzbek government to end the use of forced child labor in cotton harvesting. This action follows months of work with industry trade associations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and socially responsible investment groups to form a common position in condemning the Uzbek government's practices.

"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," said Rajan Kamalanathan, vice president of ethical standards. "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 Aug. 18, 2008, demanding an immediate end to the use of forced child labor in cotton harvesting. In response, the Uzbek government issued on Sept. 12, 2008 a National Action Plan which details steps to eradicate the use of child labor. Once these steps can be independently verified, Wal-Mart will modify the direction to its suppliers.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Coyle Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Phone: (479) 204-8295
Phone 2: (479) 899-4564

 

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