Table of Contents
Forced Labor or Trafficking in Persons cited by U.S. Government
Child Labor cited by U.S. Government
Risk of Forced Labor or Trafficking in Persons cited by other source
Risk of Child Labor cited by other source
Documented presence of migrant workers
Documented presence of other vulnerable workers
Documented presence or significant likelihood of third-party labor recruiters
Large numbers of dispersed, unorganized, or informal small producers or other worksites
Multiple points of aggregation, co-mingling, and/or transformation across supply chain
Complex/opaque supply chains and/or lack of vertical integration
High degree of flexibility in procurement practices of downstream entities
Scale or nature of risk varies significantly based on geographic area of production
Scale or nature of risk is strongly associated with certain types of suppliers/entities
Scale or nature of risk is present across multiple tiers or nodes of supply chain (including in associated downstream or upstream goods)
Cottonseed companies provide the genetic material for seed production to cottonseed farmers and labourers.24Seeds of Oppression. ARISA and Centre for Labour Research and Action (CLRA), July 2021, https://arisa.nl/wp-content/uploads/SeedsOfOppression.pdf.
The production stage of hybrid cottonseed has three steps: emasculation; cross parenting (pollination); and picking. The first step is the emasculation of the female parent, which can be undertaken using a variety of methods depending on the flower type. This is a highly skilled and labor-intensive process. Secondly, the parent plants are crossed during the process of pollination of the emasculated buds. Thirdly, the completely opened bolls are picked, cleaned, and stored.25Santhy, V., et al. “Hybrid seed production in cotton.” Central Institute for Cotton Research Nagpur, 2008, static.vikaspedia.in/media/files_en/agriculture/crop-production/package-of-practices/hybrid-cotton-seed-production. This entire cross-pollination process takes place manually at the farm level.26Child Labour in Cotton: A briefing. International Labour Organization, 2016, www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/download.do?type=document&id=29655.
The cottonseed companies then buy back these hybrid and genetically modified seeds from the farmers and sell them on to the cotton farmers. It is the cottonseed companies that set the prices of the cottonseed, rather than the government, and some companies claim to not charge the farmers for the seeds. Following the production and picking of the cotton lint and seeds on the farm, the cotton is sold to traders and then to the ginners to be used throughout the cotton supply chain.27Seeds of Oppression. ARISA and Centre for Labour Research and Action (CLRA), July 2021, https://arisa.nl/wp-content/uploads/SeedsOfOppression.pdf.
Hybrid seed production
Hybrid cottonseed produces cotton, which is an input in a variety of cotton goods.