Buoyed by the success of the picket to protest inclusion of Gulnara Karimova in New York's Fashion Week, the International Labor Rights Forum is planning a picket next week in Washington, DC as Uzbekistan's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Elyor Ganiev arrives for meetings with the business elite in the capital.
The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan is infamous for its widespread abuses of human rights and its state policy of forcing children to work in cotton fields across the country. That won’t stop the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce from advocating for continued business partnerships with the brutal Uzbek regime.
Every year, the government of Uzbekistan removes up to two million children from schools across the country and forces them to pick cotton. Reports continue to flood out of Uzbekistan that children and adults are being forced into the cotton fields right now during the current harvest season. This widely documented, abusive state policy enriches a cadre of elites and fuels a regime characterized as “an authoritarian state” by the U.S. Department of State. Uzbekistan is one of the largest cotton producing countries in the world and cotton harvested there by forced child labor finds its way into the U.S. garment industry. Additionally, the government of Uzbekistan has been criticized for jailing independent journalists and human rights defenders, torturing prisoners and a range of other rights violations.
The US-Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum, sponsored by the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce, will feature top business and government representatives from the US and Uzbekistan including the Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elyor Ganiev. Join us outside the US-Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum to call for an end to forced child labor and human rights abuses in Uzbekistan.
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