The World Bank and Asian Development Bank are providing substantial loans and managing projects in the agriculture sector in Uzbekistan. These international financial institutions have a responsibility to ensure that the funds they provide to the Uzbek government do not support forced labor or other human rights violations, and to remediate any violations that occur. The IFIs also have a responsibility and unique capacity to use their influence with the Uzbek government to achieve the reforms needed to end the forced labor system of cotton production.
Uzbekistan is a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), has ratified seven of the ILO’s eight fundamental conventions, and is also a party to key international human rights treaties that prohibit the forced labor of children and adults. These including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (Article 8) , and the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (ILO Convention No. 105), and the Forced Labor Convention (ILO Convention No. 29). The ILO has urged the Uzbek government to address reports of forced labor of children and adults in its cotton sector since 2005. After a decade of international pressure, the ILO conducted limited monitoring of child labor during the 2013 cotton harvest, and in 2014 the Uzbek government signed a framework agreement with the ILO to apply labor conventions, including eradicating forced labor. Yet the Uzbek government continues to deny forced labor and has sustained its forced labor system.
Read about what international organizations can do to end forced labor in Uzbek cotton production: