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16 February, 2019 / Uzbekistan

Cotton Campaign Meets with Senior Uzbek Officials in Washington —

The Cotton Campaign hosted the first-ever, high-level delegation of Uzbek government officials to join its annual strategy meeting on February 4 at a pivotal time for reform to end forced labor in Uzbekistan. Building on discussions in May 2018, when a Cotton Campaign delegation visited Tashkent, the two sides agreed on broad areas of further progress that are necessary to achieve lasting reform. The Cotton Campaign and the Government of Uzbekistan also agreed to intensify direct dialogue in 2019 in order to encourage and accelerate the progress of reform.
07 February, 2019 / Kazakhstan
Workers At Kazakh Pipeline Firm End Strike After Promise Of Salary Raise

Workers At Kazakh Pipeline Firm End Strike After Promise Of Salary Raise

Striking workers at an oil and natural-gas pipeline producing company in western Kazakhstan have been promised a salary increase by the firm's management.
07 February, 2019 / Uzbekistan
Uzbek teachers, nurses 'forced' to clean streets and harvest wheat

Uzbek teachers, nurses 'forced' to clean streets and harvest wheat

Nurses and teachers in Uzbekistan are being forced by officials to clean streets, plant trees and harvest wheat or face the sack, fines or pay cuts, despite a government drive to end state-imposed work, labor rights groups said on Thursday.
30 January, 2019 / Turkmenistan
Turkmen Cotton Harvest Still Relies on Forced Labor – 2018 Campaign Review

Turkmen Cotton Harvest Still Relies on Forced Labor – 2018 Campaign Review

The production and harvesting of cotton in Turkmenistan remains heavily reliant on a system of forced labor despite the use of mechanical cotton harvesters on some farms and attempts by local authorities to prevent the use of child labor in the cotton fields. Farmers put the problem down to the rigidly centralized agricultural system. It’s the government that tells the farmers what to grow; it’s the government that provides seeds, fertilizers and other supplies. The state even sets dates for the start and finish of the cotton harvest, instead of allowing farmers to decide for themselves when the crop is actually ready.
30 January, 2019 / Kazakhstan
Submission by Human Rights Watch to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Kazakhstan

Submission by Human Rights Watch to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Kazakhstan

This submission is for consideration during the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ review Kazakhstan. It focuses on the crackdown on the independent trade union movement and attacks on workers’ rights; discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; the protection of students, teachers, and schools in situations of armed conflict; and inclusive education in Kazakhstan.
30 January, 2019 / Turkmenistan
Hundreds of Villages Untouched by Turkmenistan’s Rural Development Program

Hundreds of Villages Untouched by Turkmenistan’s Rural Development Program

A rural development program has been in effect in Turkmenistan since 2007. The state media have given it a variety of names over the past 12 years: “the regional development program,” “the village reform program” and simply “the reform program.” It’s not in the public domain but is often referred to in the media and appears extremely significant from the volume of investment alone.
21 January, 2019 / Uzbekistan
Suspend bank loans tainted by Uzbek forced labor

Suspend bank loans tainted by Uzbek forced labor

The World Bank is an institution that provides loans for developing countries. Right now it is providing almost $500 million to Uzbek agriculture projects. Yet Uzbekistan’s cotton industry has historically relied upon state-sanctioned forced labor.
09 January, 2019 / Uzbekistan
Uzbek-Spanish Company Implicated in Forced Labour with Tragic Consequences

Uzbek-Spanish Company Implicated in Forced Labour with Tragic Consequences

Every year, employees from Maxam-Chirchiq and Ammofos-Maxam are forcibly sent to pick cotton for up to two months. This often involves living and working in inappropriate conditions, away from their families, with inadequate food, water and sanitary facilities.
18 December, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Spanish-Owned Chemical Company Implicated in Forced Labour with Tragic Consequences

Spanish-Owned Chemical Company Implicated in Forced Labour with Tragic Consequences

24-year-old Sohibjon Mutalibov, an employee of Ammofos-Maxam, the largest producer of mineral fertilizers in Uzbekistan, was forcibly sent to pick cotton in the Jizzakh region on September 26, 2018. Two days later, he died following a fight with a local resident who fractured his skull. Sohibjon lay in a coma for seven days and died without regaining consciousness in hospital in the Dustlik district of the Jizzakh region. Sohibjon was one of the hundreds of thousands of employees of enterprises that were forcibly sent to pick cotton in the fall of 2018 under the threat of dismissal.
16 December, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Exclusive: ILO Director-General in Uzbekistan

Exclusive: ILO Director-General in Uzbekistan

International Labor Organization's Director-General Guy Ryder recently visited Uzbekistan, meeting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other high level officials to discuss how this country is reforming to end forced labor, specifically in its cotton fields. VOA talked to Ryder in Tashkent.