Report from the Cotton Fields: Uzbek Students Put to Work Weeding

Posted on May 30, 2011 by | No Comments

A translation of a report from the field from the indefatiguable Elena Urlayeva, a human rights defender based in Tashkent, via Bakhadyr Namazov, a human rights advocate from the Committee for the Release of Prisoners of Conscience in Uzbekistan and an independent journalist, dated May 24, 2011: Elena reports that she is in Khojeyli district [...]

Success for Petitioners: Gymboree Bans Use of Uzbek Cotton

Posted on May 30, 2011 by | No Comments

Signing petitions works! This just in from Change.org – Children’s clothing manufacturer Gymboree is the latest company to take a stand against child labor by refusing to buy cotton from Uzbekistan. Their web announcement of the policy change comes after over 3,000 Change.org members sent in letters asking for the company to stop buying Uzbek [...]

Uzbek Official Grilled on Human Rights During German Trip

Posted on May 27, 2011 by | No Comments

Vladimir Norov, Uzbekistan’s first deputy foreign minister, faced some significant heat on his country’s poor human rights record during meetings this week in Berlin. And apparently Germany also felt the heat, because Berlin stepped up with more public statements on human rights as a result, according to BBC’s Uzbek Service. This could possibly signal a [...]

Uzbek Cotton Smuggler Arrested at Kyrgyz Border

Posted on May 25, 2011 by | No Comments

Kyrgyz border guards halted a cotton smuggler coming out of Uzbekistan on May 24, ca-news.org reported May 25, citing a statement from the Kyrgyz Committee for National Security. Kyrgyz authorities report that on on the evening of May 24 at the Alga border crossing near the Aydarken border post, borders guards along with local security [...]

Reflections on the 2010 Harvest and What to Expect in 2011: Umida Niyazova

Posted on May 22, 2011 by | No Comments

Umida Niyazova, an Uzbek emigre who founded the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, is a leading child rights advocate campaigning against the use of forced child labor in her homeland. In a recent interview with cottoncampaign.org, she shared her reflections on the past harvest in the fall of 2010, and what we might expect this [...]

US G-TIP Policy on Uzbekistan Sparks Conservative Critique

Posted on May 11, 2011 by | No Comments

The Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor has published a disturbing two-part article by Umida Hashimova, “US Repeats Policy Mistakes in Uzbekistan,” on the issue of forced child labor in Uzbekistan. The author, originally from Uzbekistan herself, claims the issue of child labor in her homeland is misrepresented and exaggerated, and implies that those who take [...]

Gymboree Blocks Facebook Critics — But Publishes Prohibition on Use of Uzbek Cotton

Posted on May 10, 2011 by | No Comments

Gymboree, the children’s clothing retailer,  has blocked critics from its Facebook page who have been trying to get the company’s attention about the sourcing of cotton from Uzbekistan, which is produced through the exploitation of child labor, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) reports. ILRF has called attention to Gymboree in the past, urging the [...]

Uzbek Students Forced to Weed Cotton Fields

Posted on May 1, 2011 by | No Comments

Students in the Jizzak region of Uzbekistan have been ordered from their classrooms and sent to the cotton fields to weed the ground in preparation for the sowing of cotton, the independent website uznews.net reported. Teenagers of 15 and 16 years of age were told they had to help do the weeding to help maximize [...]