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]

Trafficking Report Highlights Uzbekistan Abuses

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, two countries where forced labor in cotton harvests is rampant, have been downgraded to the lowest ranking in the U.S. State Department’s 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report released this morning. The report also downgraded Myanmar (Burma) but boosted the ranking of Thailand, which a coalition of labor and human rights groups says… [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]

Uzbek Rights Defender Detained in Psychiatric Hospital

Uzbek human rights defender Elena Urlaeva has been detained against her will in a psychiatric hospital in Tashkent and the government should release her immediately, the Cotton Campaign said today. The Cotton Campaign is a coalition of worker rights and human rights groups that includes the Solidarity Center. “Holding Elena Urlaeva in a psychiatric hospital without… [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]

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]

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]

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]