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26 February 2021 / kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: New large oil field discovered in Caspian region

Meridian Petroleum president Baltabek Kuandykov described the discovery of the field as “a truly historic event for our country.” Mangystau governor Serikbai Trumov said the field would “give a powerful impetus to the social and economic development of the region and create new jobs.”

Kazakhstan: Workers increasingly resorting to strikes, and succeeding
24 February 2021 / kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Workers increasingly resorting to strikes, and succeeding

Dialogue is preferred to confrontation, although salary imbalances are still strong. The year has started uncomfortably for Kazakhstan’s mining and oil companies as workers become more vocal in their demands for higher salaries.

Land-grabs – the new red flag for Uzbek cotton sector
20 February 2021 / uzbekistan

Land-grabs – the new red flag for Uzbek cotton sector

Apparel brands are said to be eyeing Uzbekistan as a potential source of cotton, particularly with Xinjiang cotton now the subject of US sanctions. A process of reform has made significant progress on forced labour issues in Uzbekistan, but now another issue has arisen: land-grabs. In this special piece for Apparel Insider, Lynn Schweisfurth, a consultant for Uzbek Forum for Human Rights, suggests the privatisation Uzbekistan’s cotton sector is seeing huge tracts of land being transferred to private operators for cotton cultivation, with farmers coerced into “voluntarily” giving up their land leases, with devastating effects on rural livelihoods.

 Kazakhstan: Threat against fuel and energy workers union
3 February 2021 / kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Threat against fuel and energy workers union

Kazakh authorities continue to put pressure on independent trade unions. Below you can find a letter send by ITUC and IndustriAll global to the President of Republic of Kazakhstan Mr Tokayev and invitation to support Labourstart campaign.

29 January 2021 / kazakhstan

Unprecedented crackdown on human rights organisations in Kazakhstan

Between 15 and 25 January 2021, the Kazakh tax authorities ordered a three month suspension on the operation and activities of three human rights organisations: Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, The International Legal Initiative Foundation and the public association Echo. The tax authorities also imposed fines on the three aforementioned organisations as well as another human rights organisation, Erkindik Kanaty, for alleged violations in reporting of foreign funds.

28 January 2021 / uzbekistan


The 2020 cotton harvest was the shortest in ten years, lasting only between 40 and 60 days, depending on the region. Cotton picking began between September 10-20, and by October 20, five of Uzbekistan’s 13 regions—Fergana, Andijan, Khorezm, Karakalpakstan and Namangan— had already reported that they had fulfilled their regional targets.

28 January 2021 / kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Independent Union Under Threat of Suspension

The Kazakhstan authorities’ attempt to have an independent trade union’s operations suspended is a violation of workers’ fundamental rights to organize and associate, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 1, 2021, a Shymkent court is scheduled to resume consideration of the Shymkent City Administration’s lawsuit against the Industrial Trade Union of Fuel and Energy Workers (ITUFEW) claiming violations of Kazakhstan’s trade union law. “The improvements to the trade union law are nothing but lip service if Kazakh authorities are still trying to paralyze independent trade unions in practice,” Rittmann said. “The Shymkent City Administration should immediately withdraw its claim against ITUFEW, and the authorities should create an environment in which trade unions can work without fear.”