On June 19, 2012, USA-ITA joined the Cotton Campaign, a coalition of industry associations and human rights groups, in sending another letter to Secretary Clinton expressing concern that the U.S. failed to downgrade Uzbekistan for its widespread use of forced and child labor in the cotton industry in the Trafficking in Persons Report for 2012. The letter also called on the U.S. government to urge the Uzbek government to immediately invite the ILO to monitor the 2012 cotton harvest.
On July 6, 2012, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons responded to the coalition. “We have repeatedly made it clear that our bilateral relationship cannot reach its full potential unless Uzbekistan demonstrates increased efforts to protect the rights of all of its citizens, including addressing forced labor,” wrote the Ambassador. “We will continue to urge the government to cooperate with the ILO and engage Uzbekistan’s authorities, as well as civil society, to bring about real change, and will sustain our efforts to encourage this outcome in a constructive and effective way.”