cotton harvest

Fewer Workers Forced to Prepare Uzbek Cotton Fields

For the first time in years, large numbers of public-sector employees were not forced to carry out spring fieldwork in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields, although instances of child labor and forced labor were documented, according to a new report by the Uzbek-German Forum (UGF). Despite progress, “No Need for Forced Labor when Farmers are Empowered to… [READ MORE]

Children Forced to Labor in Turkmenistan Cotton Fields

Truckloads of children were sent to pick cotton during the Turkmenistan fall harvest, according to a new report by the Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN), an independent media and human rights organization. The children, along with tens of thousands of civil servants, including pregnant teachers, were forced to pick cotton for weeks in a government-led mass… [READ MORE]

Child Labor Returns to Uzbekistan’s Cotton Fields

  • November 1, 2017
  • Christopher Dunn

In recent years, Uzbekistan has increased the number of public-sector workers required to pick cotton, because the country nearly ended child labor in 2014 after pressure from the international community, including the Solidarity Center. Recent reports, however, indicate that the practice of forcing children to pick cotton has not ended in all parts of the… [READ MORE]

Student Death Launches Uzbekistan’s Forced Labor Season

At least one person has died in Uzbekistan cotton fields so far this season, part of the country’s massive mobilization of compulsory labor in which nurses, teachers, students and state employees are forced from clinics and classrooms to toil for weeks picking cotton. Komiljon Asimov, 20, a biology student at Abduhab State University, died September… [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]

Human Rights Defender Elena Urlaeva Released

Uzbek human rights defender Elena Urlaeva was released last week from a psychiatric hospital in Tashkent where she was detained against her will for more than a month, according to the Cotton Campaign, a coalition of worker rights and human rights groups that includes the Solidarity Center. While expressing relief at Urlaeva’s release, Umida Niyazova,… [READ MORE]

Act Now to Support Jailed Uzbek Human Rights Activist

A global union campaign is calling on the Uzbek government to reverse its conviction of Uzbek human rights activist Uktam Pardaev, who was sentenced to three years’ probation in January and is under constant surveillance by security services at his home. Officials also continue to harass Uktam Pardaev’s relatives and friends, who have been watched,… [READ MORE]

Home of Uzbek Labor Rights Activist Burned

Uzbek labor rights activist Dimitry Tikhonov says his home office has been burned and all the equipment and documentation he collected on Uzbekistan’s use of forced labor in the country’s cotton harvests has been destroyed. No other room in his home was touched by the fire, he says. “All papers and files containing materials from… [READ MORE]

Children among Six Dead in Uzbek Cotton Harvest So Far

Six people, including two boys, one age 2, another age 17, died this month in circumstances related to Uzbekistan’s fall harvest, according to the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Uzbekistan primarily uses forced labor for cotton harvesting in September and October, and last year, at least 17 people died during the harvest season. The 2-year… [READ MORE]

Uzbek Cotton Harvest: Extortion, Bribery, Forced Labor

Extortion and bribery fueled the forced labor behind Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest in autumn 2014, a coerced mass mobilization that took teachers, health care workers and millions of other employees away from their duties for several weeks, according to a report released today by the nonprofit Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. While fewer children were pushed… [READ MORE]