Uzbek Union Leader Released from Prison

Uzbek union activist Fakhriddin Tillayev, in prison on a 10-year sentence and subjected to torture for attempting to organize an independent union for day laborers, was released over the weekend. Tillayev’s release was among the results sought by a Cotton Campaign delegation, now in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, for unprecedented meetings with government officials, civil society… [READ MORE]

Report Links World Bank to Uzbekistan Forced Labor

The World Bank is funding half a billion dollars in agricultural projects linked to forced and child labor in Uzbekistan, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) in a report released today. Even though the Uzbek government promised the Bank that it would not use forced or child labor linked to… [READ MORE]

Uzbekistan Forced Labor Linked to World Bank Loan

An Uzbek victim of forced labor in cotton production and three human rights defenders filed a complaint against the World Bank’s private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), according to a coalition of human rights groups. The June 30 complaint seeks an investigation into forced labor connected to a $40 million loan to Indorama Kokand… [READ MORE]

Cotton Cover-Up: Uzbekistan Whitewashes Forced Labor

The Uzbekistan government again forced more than 1 million teachers, nurses and others to pick cotton for weeks during last fall’s harvest. But this time, the government went to extreme measures—including jailing and physically abusing those independently monitoring the process—to cover up its actions, according to a new report. “The government unleashed an unprecedented campaign… [READ MORE]

Forced Labor Rampant in Uzbekistan Fall Cotton Harvest

Health care workers in Uzbekistan are toiling in cotton fields and third- and fourth-year university students are now on their way as well, forced by the government to labor in the country’s fall harvest, according to stories compiled by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. The nonprofit organization also is highlighting news that minors again… [READ MORE]

Ban Ki-moon: Uzbekistan Must Do More to End Forced Labor

Labor and human rights groups are applauding a statement by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said during a recent visit to Uzbekistan that more must be done now to address “the mobilization of teachers, doctors and others in cotton harvesting, and prevent the maltreatment of prisoners.” On June 5, dozens of labor and… [READ MORE]

Uzbek Human Rights Monitor Says Police Assaulted Her

An Uzbek human rights monitor says she was arrested and assaulted as she sought to document the Uzbek government’s forced mobilization of teachers and doctors to clear weeds from cotton fields outside Tashkent, the capital. Elena Urlaeva, 58, head of the Uzbek Human Rights Defenders’ Alliance, said in an email that she was detained May… [READ MORE]

Uzbek Government Deports Labor Rights Consultant

  • March 25, 2015
  • Cotton Campaign

(Moscow, March 24, 2015)—The arrest and expulsion from Uzbekistan of an international labor rights expert raises serious concerns about the government of Uzbekistan’s commitment to international human rights conventions and the feasibility of the World Bank’s agricultural programs in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan operates what is perhaps the world’s largest state-organized system of forced labor, forcibly mobilizing… [READ MORE]

Got a T-Shirt? Chances Are Child Labor Was Involved

Cotton production involves the most child labor and forced labor in the world, according to the 2014 “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs. Overall, 126 goods are produced annually by child labor and 55 goods produced through forced labor. Most of… [READ MORE]