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05 December, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Tashkent Region: Two Farmers Arrested for Defaulting on Cotton Loans

Tashkent Region: Two Farmers Arrested for Defaulting on Cotton Loans

Two farmers from the village of Uzbekistan in the Akkurgan district of the Tashkent region, 39-year-old Sherali Toshiboev and 54-year-old Erkin Maripov, were arrested for not repaying loans for cotton. Erkin Maripov was released on November 24 after his family repaid part of the loan. Sherali Toshiboev remains in custody.
04 December, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Relatives of Sanjar Baratov, a 33-year-old farmer from the Jizzakh region in Uzbekistan, said that he took his own life because he felt desperate after Enforcement Bureau officers confiscated his property for failure to pay off a bank loan.

Relatives of Sanjar Baratov, a 33-year-old farmer from the Jizzakh region in Uzbekistan, said that he took his own life because he felt desperate after Enforcement Bureau officers confiscated his property for failure to pay off a bank loan.

One of the soldiers told Ozodlik that despite the lack of cotton in the fields, ten thousand soldiers of the Uzbek Armed Forces are picking cotton in the Akaltyn district of the Syrdarya region. An employee of the regional administration later confirmed this information
04 December, 2018 / Uzbekistan
An Uzbek farmer hanged himself after confiscation of his property

An Uzbek farmer hanged himself after confiscation of his property

Relatives of Sanjar Baratov, a 33-year-old farmer from the Jizzakh region in Uzbekistan, said that he took his own life because he felt desperate after Enforcement Bureau officers confiscated his property for failure to pay off a bank loan.
24 November, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Campaigners challenge U.N. over forced labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry

Campaigners challenge U.N. over forced labor in Uzbekistan's cotton industry

Rights groups on Friday disputed findings by the United Nations showing Uzbekistan has nearly eliminated forced labor from its cotton industry, saying that exploitation is still “systematic”
10 November, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan tries to end the use of forced labour in the cotton fields

Uzbekistan tries to end the use of forced labour in the cotton fields

In some ways, there is nothing surprising about the videos that have been doing the rounds on social media in Uzbekistan. In one, farmers and local officials in a district near Tashkent, the capital, were made to stand in a watery ditch, heads bowed, to show contrition for failing to irrigate wheat fields properly. In another, officials were made to heave heavy clods of clay into the air repeatedly as punishment for allowing such impediments to farming to accumulate on land they are in charge of. Such ritual humiliation is rife in Uzbekistan, where nearly three decades of dictatorship under Islam Karimov, the strongman who died in 2016, bred a culture of bullying and subservience.
31 October, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Journalist Detained for Exposing Hokim Ordering Teachers and Doctors to Pick Cotton

Journalist Detained for Exposing Hokim Ordering Teachers and Doctors to Pick Cotton

On the evening of October 25, the journalist found out that the hokim of the Kushkupir district was holding a meeting with the principals of schools and kindergartens and heads of rural medical institutions to discuss the mobilization of their employees to pick cotton. Ruzmetov immediately went to the hokimiyat and recorded the meeting on his mobile phone. When the hokim noticed the journalist’s presence, he interrupted the meeting.
16 October, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 3

Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 3

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) continues to monitor forced labor during this year’s cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. UGF monitors collecting information in seven out of Uzbekistan’s 13 regions are recording massive forced mobilization to pick cotton or the demand to pay for replacement workers.
03 August, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Measuring Forced Labour in an Authoritarian Context – An Evaluation of ILO Third Party Monitoring in Uzbekistan

Measuring Forced Labour in an Authoritarian Context – An Evaluation of ILO Third Party Monitoring in Uzbekistan

Corruption and regimes of forced labour in Uzbekistan are closely entwined. This is exhibited most acutely in the cotton sector. Revenues from the export of cotton are hidden by the state, and rent-seeking from public officials goes hand in hand with the coerced recruitment process.
28 June, 2018 / Uzbekistan
U.S. Decision Fails Forced Labor Victims in Uzbekistan.

U.S. Decision Fails Forced Labor Victims in Uzbekistan.

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. government upgraded the Uzbek government’s ranking in its 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report to the Tier 2 Watch List, a category denoting nations that deserve special scrutiny, despite acknowledging that “government-compelled forced labor remained during the 2017 cotton harvest.” The Cotton Campaign believes that the 2017 harvest should have been the primary basis of the determination and that given the massive scale of the forced labor in last year’s harvest, the decision does not sufficiently reflect these most recent facts on the ground. Moreover, the Cotton Campaign is concerned that the decision to upgrade Uzbekistan, may prematurely diminish the government’s incentive to translate its recent commitments into action to end systematic forced labor.
26 June, 2018 / Uzbekistan
Uzbek Farmer: I would be glad to refuse to grow cocoons

Uzbek Farmer: I would be glad to refuse to grow cocoons

Uzbekistan, a leading producer of silk cocoons, relies on forced labor for their production, which violates the rights of farmers and public-sector workers and exploits the vulnerability of the rural poor. Uzbek farmers must produce silk cocoons under coercion to fulfill government quotas and they must sell their cocoons to the government at the official procurement price, leaving them little or no profit, and in many cases in debt