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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.
04 December, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Soldiers finish cotton harvest in Turkmenistan

Soldiers finish cotton harvest in Turkmenistan

Conscripts have been harvesting the last of the cotton in at least two regions in Turkmenistan, as low pay and freezing weather put off hired laborers.
Conscripts were sent to pick cotton in several districts in the southeast Mary region at the end of November. They wore military uniform and travelled to the fields in army Ural and Kamaz trucks.
16 November, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Cotton pickers struggle with low pay, poor crop in southern Turkmenistan

Cotton pickers struggle with low pay, poor crop in southern Turkmenistan

Harvesting by hand remains the norm in the cotton fields of Turkmenistan’s southern Mary region. Despite reports in the state-run media of the widespread use of cotton harvesters, observers for Alternative Turkmenistan News failed to find any evidence of the machines out in the fields. Instead, the observers estimate that some 5,600 public sector workers – teachers, doctors, cleaners and others – are forced to go cotton picking every day in the region. In addition, many workers are taken cotton picking for extended periods of 10 days or a month.
10 November, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Forced labor remains the norm in Turkmenistan’s cotton fields

Forced labor remains the norm in Turkmenistan’s cotton fields

Thousands of people in Turkmenistan are again being forced to pick cotton. The autumn harvest began, however, on a positive note, with the authorities taking steps to ensure that classes of schoolchildren are not sent to the fields. Some cotton pickers in the remote north of the country even received increased rates for their work early in the season, but this soon came to an end when forced laborers were brought in
29 October, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Teachers in Turkmenistan forced to pick cotton during fall break

Teachers in Turkmenistan forced to pick cotton during fall break

Teachers in Turkmenistan’s second largest city, Turkmenabat, are having to spend their fall break picking cotton. Schools closed on October 21st for the whole nine-day break for the first time in 15 years, and teachers and maintenance staff are having to work in the cotton fields every day.
16 October, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: Free Gaspar Matalaev, end forced and child labour

Turkmenistan: Free Gaspar Matalaev, end forced and child labour

Human rights defender Gaspar Matalaev has now spent more than two years in prison for the 'crime' of documenting the massive use of forced labour in the cotton fields of Turkmenistan.
11 October, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s cotton harvest campaign continues despite stillborn crop

Turkmenistan’s cotton harvest campaign continues despite stillborn crop

In Turkmenistan, it is half-way through the cotton harvesting season. Despite the crop failure and empty cotton fields, local government officials hold daily meetings with chiefs of institutions and demand more people in the fields and more cotton to meet the state plan
01 October, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Twelve major brands sign Turkmen Cotton Pledge

Twelve major brands sign Turkmen Cotton Pledge

To coincide with the Turkmen president’s attendance at the UN General Assembly – the first time since 2015 – apparel companies and global investors have expressed disapproval regarding the nation’s use of statesponsored forced labour in Turkmenistan’s cotton sector.
As a method to remedy this, twelve apparel brands and retailers from around the world have signed the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) Turkmen Cotton Pledge, committing not to source cotton from Turkmenistan until forced labour has been eliminated.
05 September, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: Bus Crash Injures Dozens of Cotton Pickers

Turkmenistan: Bus Crash Injures Dozens of Cotton Pickers

Dozens of people have been injured in a bus accident and have been taken to the hospital, eyewitnesses reported to ATN. The crash occurred on August 31st in the eastern city of Turkmenabat. The roughly 40 people on board were kindergarten and secondary school staff, traveling to Farap district, 30 km outside of Turkmenabat, to pick cotton. Due to lack of seats some people had to stand.
08 August, 2018 / Turkmenistan
Brands should boycott Turkmenistan cotton over use of forced and child labour

Brands should boycott Turkmenistan cotton over use of forced and child labour

Anti-Slavery International is urging all brands to pledge not to knowingly source cotton from Turkmenistan due to systematic forced and child labour in the sector, writes Klara Skrivankova, UK and Europe Programme Manager