Reports from Uzbekistan contradict the government's claim that it has phased out its internationally-criticized policy of forcing citizens into farm fields to pick cotton every autumn. Under pressure from the Cotton Campaign, a worldwide coalition of human rights groups and businesses boycotting Uzbek cotton since 2010 over the use of child- and forced-labor in the country, officials in Tashkent say they have ended the practice.
The Ferghana oil refinery is Uzbekistan’s largest – and most sought after. Based in the most densely populated region of Uzbekistan in the Ferghana valley, the mammoth, Soviet-built complex churns out up to 6.5 million metric tons of oil and other petroleum products a year. Dozens of oil trucks are seen daily climbing the narrow Kamchik Pass that links the valley to the rest of Uzbekistan.
Radio Ozodlik, an Uzbek-language service of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, reported in June that 287 staffers of the Ferghana refinery sent a group petition to Mirziyoyev’s online reception. Since Mirziyoyev’sascension to power, the reception has become an effective and often the only tool to complain about corruption among Uzbek officials.
On August 10, Bishkek’s Pervomaysk District Court ordered that Uzbek journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev remain in custody until September 8. In the meantime, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kyrgyzstan is to decide on the request of the Uzbek authorities to extradite the opposition journalist to Uzbekistan. Abdullaev was detained in Kyrgyzstan on August 9 upon the request of officials in Tashkent. He is being held in the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security (GKNB) detention facility while Uzbek law enforcement agencies are investigating him for a “number of crimes”, according to UKMK.
The Special Commission on Combating Covid-19 has strengthened quarantine measures throughout Uzbekistan from July 10 to August 1. The government has restricted traffic, banned events and weddings, closed parks, markets, large shops and gyms, and prohibited people over 65 from going out.
Проблемы, с которыми все еще сталкиваются низовые активисты и самоинициативные НПО в Узбекистане несмотря на сильную политическую волю президента Мирзиёева к усилению роли гражданского общества в процессе демократического развития страны. Отдавая кредит там, где должен быть кредит, в отличие от государственных НПО, снизу-вверх группы пытаются зарегистрироваться, и весь процесс административных процедур направлен на то, чтобы разочаровать и унывать. Помимо бюрократических лент, зарегистрированные НПО задыхаются из-за обременительной отчетности и спроса на предварительное утверждение для повседневной деятельности. Помимо ограниченных местных финансовых ресурсов и слабых организационных возможностей, узбекские НПО ограничены иностранным финансированием. Практические рекомендации, как позволить третьему сектору свободно дышать путем стирания стереотипов, предубеждений и негативного отношения к НПО в Узбекистане.
As Uzbekistan turns to privatisation to solve forced labour in the state-controlled cotton sector, an investigation into an international equipment contract raises red flags over business practices and government control.
Ulster University and the Uzbek Forum for Human Rights has released the first sector wide study on corporate integrity in Uzbekistan. The report and associated policy brief focus on the cotton cluster system, a landmark privatisation initiative designed to improve agro-industrial productivity, and address the structural drivers of systematic forced labour in Uzbekistan. State-organised forced labour regimes in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector have attracted significant domestic and international criticism over the past decade.
A new report released today by Uzbek Forum for Human Rights (formerly Uzbek-German Forum / UGF) on the 2019 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan documents both meaningful progress toward ending forced labor and the persistence of government-organized forced labor, said the Cotton Campaign. The report finds that the state-imposed cotton quota, structural labor shortages, the lack of fair and independent recruitment channels, and weak accountability systems contributed to significant ongoing forced labor, including in the newly privatized cotton textile cluster system. Lagging progress on civil society freedoms is also limiting the success of broader reform efforts.
Tashkent human rights activists Elena Urlaeva and Solmaz Akhmedova, and activists Karimjon Madazimov and Bekzod Norboev, who live in the Pop district of Namangan region, have been placed under a 14-day compulsory quarantine in their homes since June 8 on suspicion of having Coronavirus. They were given an administrative warning and, in the event of violating quarantine, risk criminal prosecution for failure to observe compulsory isolation.
Approximately 70,000 people have been evacuated leaving flooded homes and fields behind, with many livelihoods now in ruins. The reservoir, which was built from 2010 to 2017, contained 922 million cubic meters of water intended for irrigation in the Syrdarya and Jizzakh regions. There are now serious questions to be asked as to why a dam that was completed a mere three years ago could have been so seriously defective.