Kyrgyzstan

A First of Its Kind: Kyrgyz Migrant Workers’ Union

  • November 4, 2019
  • Jeffrey C. Wheeler

Since the start of 2019, more than 2,000 migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan have joined together to protect their rights abroad through the new Migrant Workers’ Union. On October 17, more than 100 union delegates came together in the town of Isfana, Kyrgyzstan, for the union’s founding congress. The congress marks a crucial step as the… [READ MORE]

Kyrgyz Unions Find Unreported Worker Deaths and Injuries

An independent,12-month monitoring program by a coalition of worker rights advocates in Kyrgyzstan found that the lives and safety of working people are at significantly higher risk than official data indicates—requiring urgent changes to the country’s occupational safety and health (OSH) monitoring system. “I am asking government to take OSH issues into consideration because they… [READ MORE]

Kyrgyz Worker in Kazakhstan Paid $100 for 6 Months’ Work

Aldaberdi Karimov, 42, who lives in a remote Kyrgyzstan village in the Batken region, did not want to migrate from his country to find work to support his family, including his daughter, Ak Maral, now 5 years old. But like many in Kyrgyzstan, where remittances from workers abroad make up more than 25 percent of… [READ MORE]

Migrant Workers & Children Exploited in Kazakhstan

Workers who migrate from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan for jobs often do not receive their wages, are forced to work in unsafe and abusive conditions and even are kidnapped and held against their will in forced labor, according to a new report. “Invisible and Exploited in Kazakhstan” also found that children are forced to labor, with… [READ MORE]

Fire Kills Migrant Workers in Russia

The search for a better future and the means to support their families in Kyrgyzstan ended tragically for 14 migrant workers Saturday, August 27, in Moscow, when their printing plant caught fire. All of the victims were young women, including two 17-year-old girls, according to reports. Three Russian workers also died. Burials for the workers… [READ MORE]

Coalition to World Bank: Hold Uzbekistan Accountable

The World Bank must convey to the Uzbek government that attacks against independent monitors assessing the extent of forced labor in the country’s cotton harvest will not be tolerated. The World Bank must also outline consequences should the attacks continue, according to the Cotton Campaign. In a July 29 letter to key World Bank officials,… [READ MORE]

Worker Rights under Siege at Oil Refinery in Kyrgyzstan

The recent firing of a union leader at a Chinese-owned oil refinery in Kyrgyzstan is the company’s latest attempt in the past two years to prevent workers from forming a union, according to the global union IndustriALL and workers. Zhanaydar Ahmetov, leader of the trade union committee at China Petrol Company Zhongda was fired and… [READ MORE]

Legal Advisory Center Offers Free Job-Related Counsel to Kyrgyz Workers

In Kyrgyzstan, as all over the world, the nature of work is changing, and protecting worker rights is more and more challenging. Although the law provides for the formation of unions, legal enforcement of worker and union rights is weak, and employers do not always respect statutory law and collective bargaining agreements. The Legal Advisory… [READ MORE]

Debate in Kyrgyzstan: To Join or not to Join a Common Customs Border?

Would Kyrgyzstan’s membership in a regional economic bloc with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan aid or undermine jobs, wages, and living standards for Kyrgyz workers? The Solidarity Center brought together some 70 government experts, union leaders, employers, researchers, and representatives of international organizations in Bishkek to discuss key concerns. The Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and… [READ MORE]