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Catholic Investing Halts Child Labor Harvesting Cotton

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Children Forced to Work Picking Cotton by Hand in Western Asia

Child Laborer in Western AsiaUzbekistan, located in Western Asia, is the fifth largest exporter of cotton in the world. As a third world nation, the country is reliant on manual labor for the production of its cotton crop. Specifically, when the cotton is ready for harvest, school age children as well as adults are forced into the fields by the government to pick it.

Harvesting cotton by hand is back-breaking work that requires the pickers to drag sacks of picked cotton that can weigh up to 100 pounds when full.

The pickers’ hands are subjected to wounds from the sharp spikes on the cotton plants. Each harvest requires the pickers to go into the fields numerous times. Those who document or report this practice are jailed. Forcing adults to hand-pick cotton is objectionable. Subjecting children to this labor is unconscionable.

Catholic Impact Investing Advocates Score Major Victory for Children

Macy’s is one of the largest retailers in the United States, with 840 stores operating under the Macy’s or Bloomingdales marquees. Macy’s was approached to sign a pledge to not knowingly purchase articles that contain cotton from Uzbekistan. After the situation was explained to management, Macy’s signed.

Now there are over 170 other retailers who have been persuaded to sign the pledge, including Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Kohls, Nike and Gap, Inc.

Recent international surveys of Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest indicate that forced child labor has been drastically curtailed. There’s still room to improve, but thanks to our advocacy work, conditions have definitely gotten better. The number of children used to harvest cotton is down in regions across the country. International monitors continue to oversee harvesting operations, reporting violations and ensuring children are not forced to pick cotton.

Catholic Impact Investing Answers the Bishops’ Call

Western Asian Boy Having FunThe USCCB could not be more clear: Catholic investors must practice both socially responsible investing and impact investing. Catholics must restrict the companies they invest in to avoid doing evil and they must use their investment dollars to promote good. This is why Summit Investments makes impact investing easy for our investors. By donating a portion of the investment fees we collect, we enable our investors to help their brothers and sisters around the globe.

Your investment dollars can help prevent children from being forced to pick cotton by hand.

Simply investing your money with Summit lets you fulfill all of the Bishops’ investment guidelines. None of your money will be invested in morally objectionable businesses and you’ll be making a positive impact on the world. Combine socially responsible investing and impact investing with Summit Investments.

Contact our Catholic investment advisors to begin impact investing against child labor today.

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