Forced labour in Uzbekistan
Lead NCPKorea, Republic of (South)
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGOs Korean Trans National Corporations Watch (KTNC Watch), Cotton Campaign, and Anti-Slavery International, regarding the activities of Daewoo International, KOMSCO and companies which had invested in Daewoo International operating in Uzbekistan.
Theme(s)Human rights
Date3 Dec 2014
Host country(ies)Uzbekistan
Industry sectorFinancial and insurance activities
StatusNot accepted

Read the initial assessment issued by the Korean NCP concluding the specific instance - 7 July 2015

In December 2014, the Korean NCP received a request for review by the NGOs Korean Trans National Corporations Watch (KTNC Watch), Cotton Campaign, and Anti-Slavery International, alleging that Daewoo International, KOMSCO and companies which had invested to Daewoo International had breached the human rights provisions of the Guidelines in Uzbekistan. More specifically the NGOs alleged that the companies had breached the Guidelines by continuing to purchase cotton produced in Uzbekistan through Daewoo Textile Fergana and Bukhara (two wholly-owned and operated subsidiaries of Daewoo International), despite their awareness of on-going state-sponsored forced labour in the country.

The NCP undertook an initial assessment of the specific instance and, in July 2015, concluded that it did not merit further consideration. While acknowledging the link between the enterprises’ activity and the issue of forced labour, the NCP did not consider that serious adverse impacts had been caused or encouraged by the business activities in question. The NCP also considered that the companies were not in a position to use leverage vis-a-vis the Uzbekistan government. The NCP also observed that the companies had already created internal guidelines for ethical business conduct, and in compliance with these internal guidelines, they had tried to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts in various ways. The NCP also took into consideration the outcome of a similar specific instance raised with the Norwegian NCP which was also rejected for further consideration.

While not accepting the specific instance, the Korean NCP, recommends that the companies continue to monitor the situation and respond actively to every possible way concerning the issues related by means of dialogue and co-operation with the government of Uzbekistan, state-owned companies, related international organisations, NGOs, and local communities.