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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Organizations from all five Central Asian republics may apply for support for original and innovative projects focused on the promotion of human rights and democracy in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.