The Hidden Cost of Forced Child Labor

Posted on February 24, 2012 by | No Comments

In their blog “Why Nations Fail,” Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson highlight one of the hidden costs of large scale forced child labor in Uzbekistan: the decline in educational achievement of students forced to spend weeks and sometimes months harvesting cotton rather than attending school. “This type of coercion is actually all too common,” Acemoglu […]

Fresh Evidence of Mistreatment in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Fields

Posted on February 24, 2012 by | No Comments

In late January, a video from this year’s harvest was posted on YouTube showing a dean from the Chemistry-Technology Department of the Karakalpak National University verbally abusing and slapping students who failed to meet their cotton picking quotas. In true Soviet fashion, the Dean meted out this humiliation in public, in front of the students’ […]

Domestic Forced Labor Not Enough

Posted on February 24, 2012 by | No Comments

On February 6, the Russian-language website ran an article on a new project to attract foreign tourists to Uzbekistan. Uzbektourism, which identifies itself as “an authorized state body for the tourism industry” that “report[s] to the Cabinet of Ministers on its activities,” was planning to give tourists the once in a lifetime opportunity to […]

Obama Administration Waives Human Rights Sanctions on Uzbekistan Despite Lack of Progress on Child Labor, Other Human Rights Problems

Posted on February 24, 2012 by | No Comments

On January 18, Secretary of State Clinton exercised the authority Congress granted the Administration late last year to waive human rights-related sanctions on the provision of security assistance to Uzbekistan. You can watch State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland explain the decision. Asked if it represented a “free pass” to the Uzbek government on its atrocious […]

High-Level Hearing on Uzbekistan and Germany

Posted on February 6, 2012 by | No Comments

Human rights groups in Germany are holding a high-level hearing next month that will draw attention to Germany’s critical role in sustaining Uzbekistan’s regime with trade and a military presence: “From the Uzbek Cotton Fields to the Termez Military Base” Date: Thursday March 1, 2012 from 13:00 – 18:30 Place: “Landesvertretung der Freien und Hansestadt […]

Frontline Defenders Condemn Attacks on Monitors of Forced Child Labour

Posted on February 4, 2012 by | No Comments

Frontline Defenders, a UK-based human rights organization, has noted in its annual report that the problem of forced child labour continues in Uzbekistan: In Uzbekistan, HRDs [human rights defenders] denouncing the use of forced child labour in the cotton fields were threatened, questioned and detained. Among those facing repeated reprisals for her reporting was Elena […]