Press Releases and Media Highlights
December 17, 2018- Uzbekistan Aims to End Forced Labor in Cotton Fields-Wall Street Journal
“The appearance of progress has made some companies who have signed the Cotton Campaign’s boycott wonder aloud whether it is time to lift it, the NGO has said, though it is unclear when they might return to Uzbekistan.
“Brands know that their reputation is on the line with their investors and consumers, and so they’re not going to go in easily,” said Patricia Jurewicz of the Responsible Sourcing Network, which hosts the pledge.”
October 1, 2018 PRESS RELEASE: Top Apparel Brands Call for End to Forced Labor in Cotton Fields of Turkmenistan
“While the Turkmen president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, attends the UN General Assembly for the first time since 2015, apparel companies and global investors are expressing their disapproval of the use of state-sponsored forced labor in Turkmenistan’s cotton sector and call for change.”
September 10, 2018- Forced labor down in spring cotton work, systemic problems remain-Cotton Campaign
“A decade of international pressure from governments, companies, civil society and others has been successful in motivating the Uzbek government to acknowledge the problem and begin to initiate reforms,” said Patricia Jurewicz, founder and vice president of the Responsible Sourcing Network. “Close, independent monitoring of the 2018 harvest is needed to see how far the government’s commitments have actually contributed to ending forced labor in Uzbek cotton production, and what actions still need to occur.”
July 23, 2018-Fashion identified as one of five key industries implicated in modern slavery-Vogue
“In 2017, pressure from the Walk Free Foundation resulted in Zara’s parent company Inditex joining the likes of Gucci and Levi’s as signatories to the Responsible Sourcing Network’s cotton pledge that boycotts unethical Uzbek cotton.”
June 1, 2018 – Apparel brands take a closer look at sourcing after cotton ban – Supply Chain Dive
While direct trade between the U.S. and Turkmenistan is relatively small ($13.8 million imports in 2017), the Central Asian country exports cotton to Turkey, Pakistan, India and China. Apparel brands producing garments from those nations will need to pay attention to their cotton sources, Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, told Supply Chain Dive.
May 24, 2018 – U.S. bans imports of slave-picked cotton from Turkmenistan – Thomson Reuters Foundation
“CBP’s ban means retailers and brands need to move quickly to identify and eliminate Turkmen cotton from their supply chains,” said Patricia Jurewicz, a co-founder of the Cotton Campaign, a global coalition aimed at ending child and forced labor in cotton production.
May 23, 2018 – PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Customs Halts Imports of Forced Labor Cotton and Cotton Goods from Turkmenistan
CBP’s ban means retailers and brands need to move quickly to identify and eliminate Turkmen cotton from their supply chains
March 16, 2017 – Forced labour still picks Uzbek’s cotton – Innovation Forum
Patricia Jurewicz is director of Responsible Sourcing Network, which hosts the Cotton Pledge, a commitment to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton harvested by forced labour. She says it doesn’t matter if the person being pulled out of school or work is over or under 15 years old. “Any type of forced labour is still modern slavery. If the workers are not voluntarily choosing to do a job, they are being forced to work, which is inexcusable exploitation.”
March 01, 2017 – Drapers Textiles Report: What is driving textiles pricing? - Drapers
Uzbekistan is the fifth-largest exporter of cotton worldwide, but The Cotton Campaign, Responsible Sourcing Network and other watchdogs have long claimed that its government uses forced child and adult labour on an industry-wide scale.
February 14, 2017 – Can going green help pick the slavery out of cotton? – Eco-Business
“There are improvements little by little and the most where brands get involved in production as they don’t want to be linked to abuse,” [Patricia Jurewicz] said. “But there’s a long way to go”.
September 1, 2016 – PRESS RELEASE: YESS: Yarn Ethically & Sustainably Sourced
"Although many of our corporate Cotton Pledge signatories know that this is a vulnerable spot in their supply chains, they haven’t known how to address the problem."
October 18, 2018 – PRESS RELEASE: More Regulatory Enforcement Needed to Urge Corporate Due Diligence on Conflict Minerals – Responsible Sourcing Network
“The disregard of corporate responsibility for conflict minerals during the Trump administration is concerning,” said Raphaël Deberdt, author of the Mining the Disclosures 2018 report. “The increasing neglect of the conflict minerals legislation from some companies over the past few years has been a source of human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And these abuses extend beyond the 3TG sphere.” – Patricia Jurewicz, Director, Responsible Sourcing Network
October 12, 2017 – PRESS RELEASE: Newest Mining the Disclosures 2017 Report Released by Responsible Sourcing Network Shows Widespread Due Diligence Shortfalls from Consumer Brands – Responsible Sourcing Network
“We’re disappointed to see so many companies simply ticking a compliance box, rather than engaging in genuine risk reduction. Investors should be concerned when nominal attention is paid to a critical issue – other corporate core business efforts could be just as weak. Laggard companies should emulate proactive due diligence strategies from the Technology sector.” – Patricia Jurewicz, Director, Responsible Sourcing Network
March 07, 2017 – PRESS RELEASE: Investors Urge the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Administration to Continue Robust Implementation of Dodd-Frank (Section 1502) Conflict Minerals Rule – Responsible Sourcing Network
"Mandatory disclosure legislation is imperative to maintain. It has been the driving force for the momentum and action by corporations to research their supply chains, be transparent about their actions, and be responsible to the communities that deserve to prosper from the electronics craze sweeping across the world." – Patricia Jurewicz, Director, Responsible Sourcing Network
April 13, 2017 – Apple, Intel Carry on as SEC Relaxes Conflict Minerals Scrutiny – Bloomberg BNA
“We’ll continue to call for transparency on this issue and call out companies who roll back their own reporting just because the SEC isn’t asking for it,” said Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, which ranks companies each year based on their reporting.
April 4, 2017 – OP-ED: Repeal and Replacement of Conflict Minerals Rule 1502 Undermines Peace and Stability in the Congo – Huffington Post Co-authored by Lauren Compere and Patricia Jurewicz
Not only does  support companies and investors by creating a level playing field to compare company actions, such as in RSN’s Mining the Disclosures reports, but it also helps minimize violence and despair.
February 22, 2017 – Investors with $3trn sign up to defend SEC conflict minerals rule – Responsible Investor
Responsible Sourcing Network is a lead investor signatory (on the letter submitted to the SEC).
February 10, 2017 – Conflict Minerals Latest Disclosure Rule Targeted for Rollback – Bloomberg BNA
Rebels are still profiting from gold mining in the region, the U.N. Security Council said in June. Some companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Owens Corning, are also telling suppliers not to source from the region at all, effectively creating an embargo, according to the Responsible Sourcing Network.
February 02, 2017 – SEC to ‘Reconsider’ Conflict Minerals Reporting – Bloomberg BNA
“Given the global market available to companies today, if they don’t have to abide by something in this country, they’re likely to abide by something in another country,” Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, told Bloomberg BNA.
January 02, 2017 – Is a Tesla really ethical? Company won’t say how its batteries aren’t tainted – Australian Financial Review Originally published in The Washington Post, December 30, 2016.
"Most consumers have an expectation that their products are sourced responsibly," said Patricia Jurewicz, director of the Responsible Sourcing Network, a group that seeks to correct human rights abuses in the way raw materials are harvested and mined… “It’s important for companies to demonstrate what they’re doing and go beyond a mere verbal commitment,”