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5 April 2019 / Uzbekistan

UGF Report: Despite Progress, Systemic Forced Labor Persists in Uzbekistan’s 2018 Cotton Harvest Cotton Campaign Urges Further Reform

The report is based on 70 in-depth interviews, including with officials, 300 field visits, and monitoring of more than 100 farms. It documents both the significant progress made by the Uzbek government, as well as ongoing forced labor due to structural factors that remain largely in place. Driven by a commitment to reform at the highest levels of government, there is significant transition underway which is reflected in some encouraging signs of progress, but the 2018 harvest showcased the enormous challenges remaining in Uzbekistan’s efforts to end forced labor.

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ILO Cites Dramatic Drop in Uzbek Use of Forced Labor
4 April 2019 / Uzbekistan

ILO Cites Dramatic Drop in Uzbek Use of Forced Labor

The International Labor Organization is reporting a dramatic 48 percent reduction last year in the use of forced and child labor in Uzbekistan, which for decades has been listed among the world's worst offenders.

Kazakhstan: Judge’s complaint alarms legal profession
3 April 2019 / Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Judge’s complaint alarms legal profession

A lawyer in Kazakhstan known for taking on politically sensitive cases is fighting off a judicial complaint that could lead to her disbarment. Gulnara Zhuaspayeva told a press conference in Almaty on April 1 that she believes this is an attempt to intimidate her into desisting from her work.

Kazakh Activist In Restive Town Arrested, Charged With Hooliganism
27 March 2019 / Kazakhstan

Kazakh Activist In Restive Town Arrested, Charged With Hooliganism

A court in Kazakhstan's southwestern town of Zhanaozen on March 26 ordered a leader of recent protests staged by jobless young people placed in pre-trial arrest for two months.

17 March 2019 / Turkmenistan

Independent Journalists Under Pressure in Turkmenistan

The few independent journalists living in Turkmenistan are coming under continuing pressure from the country’s special services. On March 11 Soltan Achilova was detained at passport control at Ashgabat airport and told she does not have the right to leave the country, Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported. The journalist was flying via Istanbul to Tbilisi to take part in a seminar

Head of Gurlen District Assaults Farmer
14 March 2019 / Uzbekistan

Head of Gurlen District Assaults Farmer

Uzbek-German Forum has received an audio recording of Alisher Salayev, the head of the Gurlen district of the Khorezm region, in which he is heard shouting and using obscene language during a meeting with farmers on March 11  in the building of the Gurlen district hokimiyat. According to the UGF monitor who spoke to an eyewitness, Salayev reprimanded 12 farmers for the failure to go to the Yangibazar district for a seminar held by Uktam Kuchkarov, the deputy of the Khorezm region.