Uzbek-German Forum has received an audio recording of Alisher Salayev, the head of the Gurlen district of the Khorezm region, in which he is heard shouting and using obscene language during a meeting with farmers on March 11 in the building of the Gurlen district hokimiyat. According to the UGF monitor who spoke to an eyewitness, Salayev reprimanded 12 farmers for the failure to go to the Yangibazar district for a seminar held by Uktam Kuchkarov, the deputy of the Khorezm region.
Jizzakh human rights activist Uktam Pardaev is seriously concerned for his own safety and the safety of his family. On February 24, Pardayev told Uzbek-German Forum (UGF) that over the past week, he and his family members have been under surveillance.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 4 February 2019, a government delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan led by Deputy Prime Minister Tanzilya Narbayeva attended the annual meeting of the international coalition Cotton Campaign, which was the initiator of the so-called boycott ”against Uzbek textile products.
The Cotton Campaign hosted the first-ever, high-level delegation of Uzbek government officials to join its annual strategy meeting on February 4 at a pivotal time for reform to end forced labor in Uzbekistan. Building on discussions in May 2018, when a Cotton Campaign delegation visited Tashkent, the two sides agreed on broad areas of further progress that are necessary to achieve lasting reform. The Cotton Campaign and the Government of Uzbekistan also agreed to intensify direct dialogue in 2019 in order to encourage and accelerate the progress of reform.
Nurses and teachers in Uzbekistan are being forced by officials to clean streets, plant trees and harvest wheat or face the sack, fines or pay cuts, despite a government drive to end state-imposed work, labor rights groups said on Thursday.
The World Bank is an institution that provides loans for developing countries. Right now it is providing almost $500 million to Uzbek agriculture projects. Yet Uzbekistan’s cotton industry has historically relied upon state-sanctioned forced labor.
Every year, employees from Maxam-Chirchiq and Ammofos-Maxam are forcibly sent to pick cotton for up to two months. This often involves living and working in inappropriate conditions, away from their families, with inadequate food, water and sanitary facilities.
24-year-old Sohibjon Mutalibov, an employee of Ammofos-Maxam, the largest producer of mineral fertilizers in Uzbekistan, was forcibly sent to pick cotton in the Jizzakh region on September 26, 2018. Two days later, he died following a fight with a local resident who fractured his skull. Sohibjon lay in a coma for seven days and died without regaining consciousness in hospital in the Dustlik district of the Jizzakh region. Sohibjon was one of the hundreds of thousands of employees of enterprises that were forcibly sent to pick cotton in the fall of 2018 under the threat of dismissal.
International Labor Organization's Director-General Guy Ryder recently visited Uzbekistan, meeting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other high level officials to discuss how this country is reforming to end forced labor, specifically in its cotton fields. VOA talked to Ryder in Tashkent.
Uzbekistan’s 2018 cotton harvest, which concluded in all regions of the country the first week of December, showcased the enormous challenges in uprooting the country’s deeply entrenched forced labor system. Driven by a commitment to reform at the highest levels of the government, there is a significant transition underway, which is reflected in some encouraging signs of progress. But despite serious efforts by the central government to curtail forced labor for some citizens, key root causes remained in place, driving officials at both the local and national level to force citizens into the fields again.