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18 July, 2022 / uzbekistan
ILLEGAL LAND CONFISCATIONS IN UZBEKISTAN: FARMERS IN NAMANGAN FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS AND LIVELIHOODS

ILLEGAL LAND CONFISCATIONS IN UZBEKISTAN: FARMERS IN NAMANGAN FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS AND LIVELIHOODS

The modernization of agriculture in Uzbekistan, for which Uzbekistan has received millions of dollars in investment by multilateral development banks, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank, has been accompanied by massive confiscations of farmland across the country.
06 July, 2022 / uzbekistan
INDORAMA AGRO PROJECT, UZBEKISTAN: UNMITIGATED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PERSIST

INDORAMA AGRO PROJECT, UZBEKISTAN: UNMITIGATED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PERSIST

In 2020, Indorama Agro disclosed the project’s final Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Environmental and Social Management Plan and Livelihood Restoration Plan. These documents are intended to provide an overall picture of risks to the Bank and potentially affected communities and to serve as the basis for mitigating these risks accordingly. Bankwatch made a quality analysis of this documentation. The findings confirmed the lack of integrated impact assessment and focused risk mitigation, a participative and sustainability-led approach, and accountability. The analysis also flags non-compliance with the EBRD performance standards on impact assessment, workers’ health, biodiversity impact, land acquisition, stakeholder engagement and labour rights. The project is exclusively assessed in compliance with Uzbek regulations rather than the best available international practices (i.e. those of the WHO and ILO) and performance standards, which contradicts the EBRD’s requirements. Finally, the project documentation does not contain a comprehensive human rights risk assessment, including the risks from land acquisition and public participation, or from publicly raising concerns in an authoritarian setting.
07 April, 2022 / uzbekistan
Significant risks” remain in Uzbek cotton sector

Significant risks” remain in Uzbek cotton sector

In this guest column written exclusively for Apparel Insider, Lynn Schweisfurth of the Uzbek Forum for Human Rights argues that while the end of systematic forced labour in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan is an important landmark, significant human rights risks remain.
While the Uzbek Government celebrates the end of the boycott of Uzbek cotton following the eradication of systematic, state-imposed forced labour, farmers find themselves at the mercy of a system rigged against them.
18 January, 2022 / uzbekistan
UZBEK BLOGGERS AND ACTIVISTS UNDER ATTACK – THE CASES MOUNT

UZBEK BLOGGERS AND ACTIVISTS UNDER ATTACK – THE CASES MOUNT

As events in Kazakhstan continue to spook neighboring Central Asian countries whose populations suffer almost identical social grievances, including grand corruption, increasing poverty, and soaring fuel prices, efforts of Uzbekistan’s authorities to stifle criticism of its government have been gathering pace long before the unrest in Kazakhstan erupted in early January of this year. Despite President Mirziyoyev’s much lauded reform program which has focused mainly on the economy, civil and political reforms have lagged well behind. Freedom of speech, freedom of association and the right of civil society groups to register formally as NGOs have failed to see any relaxation of draconian, Soviet-style rules of play. Indeed, the Uzbek government appears to have stepped up its control over the Internet and bloggers and journalists repeatedly receive “invitations” from the authorities to remind them of the boundaries of what they may report on.
21 December, 2021 / uzbekistan
“THE DOOR TO UZBEKISTAN HAS OPENED BUT THERE IS A RISK IT COULD SLAM SHUT”

“THE DOOR TO UZBEKISTAN HAS OPENED BUT THERE IS A RISK IT COULD SLAM SHUT”

Human rights activist Umida Niyazova spoke to Fergana News about a recent trip to her homeland and her impression of new realities after many years in exile. The course towards greater openness and liberalization in Uzbekistan following the change of power in 2016 presented political emigrants with the possibility of returning to their homeland, at least for a short time. Some of them took the risk and then, with pleasant surprise, reported how they could cross of the border smoothly, easily register at their place of accommodation, and the lack of attention paid to them by the security forces, at least not that they noticed. Their stories were optimistic and the number of dissidents and political refugees visiting Uzbekistan slowly began to grow.
11 November, 2021 / uzbekistan
Civil Society Calls on the Uzbekistani Authorities to Register the Independent Human Rights Organization Human Rights House

Civil Society Calls on the Uzbekistani Authorities to Register the Independent Human Rights Organization Human Rights House

Civil society calls on the Uzbekistani authorities to register the independent human rights organization Human rights House. Tashkent Inter-district Administrative Court returned the NGO Human Rights House’s complaint about non-registration “on formal grounds”, but the group has appealed the decision and is currently seeking to register with the Ministry of Justice for the ninth time.  We, the undersigned members of the Civic Solidarity Platform, call on the Uzbekistani authorities to take swift steps to register Human Rights House and other independent human rights organizations in Uzbekistan, and ensure that they can freely carry out their human rights activities.
21 September, 2021 / uzbekistan
PUNITIVE PSYCHIATRIC DETENTION: UZBEKISTAN’S LASTING LEGACY OF SOVIET REPRESSION

PUNITIVE PSYCHIATRIC DETENTION: UZBEKISTAN’S LASTING LEGACY OF SOVIET REPRESSION

Bagmanyan had no history of mental health problems. Beginning in 2018, he had been battling to save his property from demolition by the Akhangaran city hokimiyat (administrative authorities). He was determined to save two residential homes belonging to his family and a store where he had conducted his business for the past eight years. Bagmanyan’s efforts however were in vain and, according to Bagmanyan, the properties, were demolished without prior agreement or compensation for loss of property or income from his business. His repeated attempts to secure justice were consistently ignored by the authorities who appear to have resorted to the most extreme means to silence him.
24 August, 2021 / uzbekistan
WHY ARE BLIND TEACHERS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN UZBEKISTAN?

WHY ARE BLIND TEACHERS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN UZBEKISTAN?

The involvement of blind and visually impaired teachers in the education system is necessary for the promotion of inclusion in this field of Uzbekistan. But have equal conditions and opportunities been created for them to carry out teaching activities like teachers without disabilities? Together with Dr Abdulla Abdukhalilov, an Associate Professor of Social Work at the National University of Uzbekistan and a Deputy Chairman on Strategic Planning at the Association of Disabled People Uzbekistan, we wrote a joint article at Gazeta.uz (in Russian/Uzbek) to analyse the problem based on the personal experience and successful cases of inclusion in pedagogy.
29 April, 2021 / uzbekistan
Recent workers’ victory reveals the rot in Uzbekistan’s public life

Recent workers’ victory reveals the rot in Uzbekistan’s public life

The much heralded privatisation of the Central Asian state’s cotton sector has led to claims of exploitation. But workers are fighting back
10 April, 2021 / uzbekistan
Uzbekistan joins EU’s GSP+ arrangement

Uzbekistan joins EU’s GSP+ arrangement

The EU has accepted the Republic of Uzbekistan as the 9th beneficiary country of the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+) under the unilateral Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The EU will start applying preferential tariffs for products imported from Uzbekistan under this arrangement from 10 April 2021.