UNICEF Quietly Mentions — but Doesn’t Condemn — Forced Child Labour

Posted on January 15, 2012 by | No Comments

You have to dig to the last page of a specialized newsletter — but it’s there — the new UNICEF-Uzbekistan Newsletter contains a single paragraph at the bottom of the final page of the newsletter on forced child labour: During the period of 17 to 22 September 2011, 6 teams consisting of 14 UNICEF staff [...]

Anti-Slavery International Brings 13,000 Signatures to EuroParliament

Posted on December 7, 2011 by | No Comments

Anti-Slavery International, the London-based non-governmental organisation working to elminate all forms of slavery worldwide, brought 13,072 signatures to the European Parliament on December 6, urging that members of parliament reject legislation that would reduce tariffs on imports of cotton from Uzbekistan. Founded in 1839, Anti-Slavery is the world’s oldest international human rights organisation. Anti-Slavery spent [...]

Activist Urges Uzbek Officials to Comply with Anti-Forced Labour Law

Posted on November 29, 2011 by | No Comments

Dmitry Tikhonov, a human rights defender in the city of Angren, has appealed to Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov to stop breaking the law and end the exploitation of children in the cotton harvest, the independent website uznews.net reported. “I addressed my demands to Rustam Azimov because he is personally responsible for overseeing the implementation [...]

Primitive Living Conditions for Children Picking Cotton in Uzbekistan

Posted on October 24, 2011 by | No Comments

Recent photos obtained by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights expose the starkly promitive living conditions for children labouring in the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. These photos, taken in October in Kashkadarya region, Uzbekistan show that children as young as 12 are picking cotton and living in primitive conditions for weeks during the harvest. They [...]

US Advocates Against Child Labour Appeal to Clinton on Eve of Visit to Uzbekistan

Posted on October 19, 2011 by | No Comments

Advocates against the use of forced child labour in Uzbekistan spoke out again today in an appeal to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of her trip to Central Asia. Twenty representatives of American trade unions, labor and human rights groups, investors, brands and retailers called on Secretary Clinton to raise with [...]

How Many Children Are Working in the Cotton Fields in Uzbekistan?

Posted on October 17, 2011 by | No Comments

Organizations working in the campaign against forced child labour have estimated the number of children working in the cotton fields to be from 1.5 million to 2 million. These estimates were made on the basis of extrapolation of numbers based on surveys of limited areas. Recently, two new sources became available which help confirm these [...]

Tashkent’s Cotton Fair Opens: Do Boycotts Work?

Posted on October 16, 2011 by | No Comments

Tashkent’s 6th international cotton and textile fair opened this week, and Uzbekistan’s state media trumpeted the event, initiated by President Islam Karimov, as a triumph of the national economy and the dictator’s “Uzbek model of reform” practiced for the last 20 years since independence. Once again, the government web site gov.uz trotted out figures claiming [...]

School-Children Forced to Pick Cotton in Andijan Region; Potemkin Fields for President

Posted on October 11, 2011 by | No Comments

Authorities have begun to mobilize school-children in Andijan province for the cotton harvest, the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights reports. Starting October 6, children from Uzbekistan’s most densely-populated province of Andijan were taken to pick cotton. Earlier, local administrators (the khokimiyat) had stated that this year, they would not force middle-school children to take part [...]

EU Parliamentarians Reject Textile Deal With Uzbekistan

Posted on October 5, 2011 by | No Comments

European Union parliamentarians have rejected a trade deal that would have eased Uzbekistan’s export of textiles to Europe, citing the use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe reported. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted unanimously against the inclusion of textiles in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [...]

Uzbek Monitor Reports from the Cotton Fields: “Everyone to the Harvest”

Posted on October 3, 2011 by | No Comments

A monitor working with the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights sent an account of his recent drive across Uzbekistan through the provinces, risking arrest to take pictures of school-children working in the cotton fields. He describes the empty marketplaces, with everyone sent off to the cotton fields, the dusty, bumpy roads, the children laboring in [...]

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