The ITUC condemns the violations of workers rights in a labour dispute at the company West Oil Software, Kazakhstan.
Uzbek Forum for Human Rights published its report on the 2023 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. Monitoring findings show that although there was no widespread, systematic, government-imposed forced labor during the 2023 harvest, an acute shortage of pickers in several districts led to coercion by officials to recruit sufficient numbers of pickers to fulfill production targets.
“We consider the court’s decision to declare the strike illegal as a violation of Kazakhstan’s international obligations in accordance with the ILO Convention 87, ratified by Kazakhstan and call on to revoke the court decision. Kazakhstan must respect fundamental workers’ right to strike. “IndustriALL again calls for an end to the prosecution and punishment of striking workers; all workers dismissed for their participation in the strike must be reinstated. This labour conflict must be resolved through social dialogue in in a peaceful manner as soon as possible to avoid a repeat of Zhanaozen in 2011.”
A court in Nukus, Uzbekistan will consider an appeal on December 19, 2023, from a farmers’ cooperative that was closed in November under a court order, Human Rights Watch and Uzbek Forum for Human Rights said today. Closing the cooperative violated the internationally protected rights to freedom of association and to organize.
In a region that relies on oil and gas extraction, job instability in this sector means dooming yourself, your family, and your closest ones to poverty. The government failed to diversify the region’s economy, and instead chose to reconfigure legislation against strikes and trade unions.
In late August, a civil court judge in Tashkent ordered independent economist Yuliy Yusupov to publish a retraction and apologize in the media to Uzbekipaksanoat, the Uzbek Silk Association, for an article he published in March this year, which revealed corruption and the use of coercion in the production of silkworm cocoons. Yusupov, director of the Tashkent-based Center for Economic Development, stands by his assessment of the silk sector and has filed an appeal. The appeal court’s decision will be a key test of whether independent researchers in Uzbekistan are free to publish fact-based analyses, particularly when they are unpalatable to the state or the businesses it protects.
Teachers and doctors in three regions of Turkmenistan have been freed from the obligation to go and pick cotton or pay money to hire workers in their stead. This may be connected with the upcoming visits to Turkmenistan of a monitoring mission of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor. It is to be hoped that the exemption of this category of public sector workers from cotton picking is not a temporary measure because of the important visitors, but the first step on the road towards eradicating forced labor in Turkmenistan.
Uzbek Forum has interviewed dozens of workers and farmers who have reported the loss of livelihoods caused by illegal land confiscations, lack of access to land, mass redundancies and abuse of labor contracts, as well as attempts to dismantle the trade union. Furthermore, farmers contracted to deliver cotton to Indorama Agro complain of delayed payments for the cotton they have delivered and exploitative contracts that include no minimum price for their cotton. Workers and stakeholders who speak out, risk retaliation and intimidation. Following interviews with Uzbek Forum monitors, farmers and workers have been interrogated by security service officials and warned against speaking to “international organizations”.
The 10th edition of the authoritative Global Rights Index shows that the global cost-of-living crisis has been met with a crackdown on the rights of working people in every region of the world.
“Our vision as sanitation workers is based on the consideration of access to clean water and sanitation as an essential human right.” J.L. Lingeri SGBASTOS / CGT RA Argentina