Uzbekistan is a country in transition. In recent years, the Uzbek government eliminated state-sponsored forced child labor in the cotton harvest, and then committed in 2017 to eliminate forced adult labor. The government has made significant progress toward achieving that commitment, including increasing cotton picking wages and enacting measures to abolish government production quotas for cotton.
Members of the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) – a network of human rights NGOs from across Europe, the former Soviet Union and North America – express our support and solidarity with Kyrgyzstan’s civil society in its efforts to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law at this time of political crisis and upheaval in the Central Asian country. We call on the authorities of Kyrgyzstan, as well as on all the groups staking claims on power to opt for dialogue and cooperation, refrain from violence, and act strictly within the framework of national and international law with a view to overcoming the current uncertainty, power struggles and threats of lawlessness and to continuing the course of democratic development.
Domestic violence is widespread and has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The IUF is today launching Breaking the silence, a guide on why domestic violence is a trade union issue and how unions should deal with it. It draws strongly on materials developed by IUF affiliates.
Since the end of September large numbers of public sector workers have been sent to pick cotton. A total lack of coordination means that in some districts people have to travel to the fields in open pick-up trucks and even on foot. Quite a few children aged between 10 and 16 have been seen among the pickers, although officially there’s a ban on using minors. Children either go instead of their parents or in order to earn some money. Public sector workers can buy themselves out of cotton picking duties by paying pickers “from the street” to go in their place. The heads of public sector organizations are suspected of pocketing some of this money. The number of cotton pickers required from each profession varies from region to region. For example, schoolteachers in Turkmenabat have to give money for cotton picking twice a month and to go picking themselves two Sundays a month, while in some districts in Dashoguz teachers go only at the weekends and do not have to contribute any money during the week.
Law enforcement forces in Kyrgyzstan responding to protests and unrest should uphold human rights and the rule of law, including if provoked by some protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. Clashes between protesters and law enforcement on the evening of October 5, 2020, following the flawed October 4 parliamentary election, led to significant casualties, including 1 death and 164 hospitalizations, according to health officials cited in local media.
Given the acute conflict situation that has developed after the fraudulent elections, realising all the threats to the security of the citizens, the state and its economy, we urge all political groups to put aside their personal ambitions and unite all progressive forces to take urgent measures to ensure a peaceful transition, to prevent the further spread of violence and destabilization in the country.
We call on all political forces to act within the framework of the constitution to start the process of legitimizing the post-election situation and the peaceful transition of power in accordance with the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and its international obligations. We understand the legitimate demands of the protesters who do not agree with the use of administrative resources and falsification of the elections results, the violent use of rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades by law enforcement agencies, when a young activist Altynbek uulu Umutbek died at the age of 19 and over 600 people were injured, more than a hundred of them are in hospitals.
FAO has launched the second edition of its report “Tracking progress on food and agriculture-related SDG indicators”. This year marks the 10-year countdown to the end-date of the 2030 Agenda. According to the data contained in the FAO report, collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress remains insufficient in the food and agriculture domain, suggesting that the world is not on track to meet the relevant targets by 2030.