On 17 May 2023, at 9:30 a.m., a session of the Constitutional Court of the KR will be held, at which the petition of the Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino - Kyrgyzstan" will be considered on recognition of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 17 of the Law of the KR on Non-Profit Organizations as contradicting Articles 2 (Part 2), 8 (Part 1), 23 (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), 32 ( Parts 1, 2), 36 of the Constitution of the KR.
Article 36 of the Constitution of the KR guarantees everyone the right to freedom of association, which is the basic value of society and the State. This right may be restricted only for the purpose of protecting national security, public order, public health and morals, and protecting the rights and freedoms of people.
The ITUC demands that the government of Kazakhstan immediately implements ILO recommendations, restores the status of the Trade Union of Fuel and Energy Industry Workers as the recognised sectoral union and carries out reforms to tackle discrimination in the sector.
The campaign "Trade Union Activity - Not Extremism!" was launched to draw international attention to the situation of workers’ rights in Belarus.
During the 2022 cotton harvest, Uzbek Forum monitors found no evidence of systematic, government-imposed forced labor for the second consecutive year. While this is a strong indication that efforts by the government to eliminate child and adult forced labor have taken hold, isolated incidents of forced labor and extortion to pay for the cotton harvest were identified in some districts with low populations and insufficient numbers of pickers and during the later stages of the harvest when less cotton in the fields makes recruitment of voluntary pickers more challenging. In general however, wages for pickers were sufficient to recruit adequate numbers to the fields, providing important supplementary income to rural communities.
The Senate approved the law, which provides for punishment up to criminal liability for involving teachers in forced labor. Saida Mirziyoyeva called it a big phenomenon in the field of education.
Since the privatization of Uzbekistan’s cotton sector began in 2019, farmers throughout the country have repeatedly complained of illegal land confiscations and exploitative contracts with private cotton clusters. Blank contracts with no minimum price for their cotton, inflated prices for fuel and fertilizers, failure to pay for delivered cotton, along with unrealistically high production targets, which can result in land confiscation if unfulfilled, have plunged thousands of farmers into debt and despair.
BY CHANGING THE STATUS OF EMPLOYEES TO “SERVICE PROVIDERS”, INDORAMA AGRO IS DECIMATING UNION MEMBERSHIP. INTERNATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS INCLUDING EBRD, IFC AND BCI MUST ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LABOR STANDARDS.
On December 28, 2022, 392 workers of Indorama Agro in the Syrdarya region of Uzbekistan were told that their contracts as Nano Unit Workers (NUWs) would not be extended. Instead, they would be given new “service contracts”, whereby the former NUWs would be required to grow cotton and grain for the company for a paltry fee and assume all of the associated entrepreneurial risks. The new contracts effectively ended their employment relationship with the company although the work and activities set out in them are almost identical to those in their previous contracts.
The opening ceremony of the XVI International Festival of Documentary Films on Human Rights "Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan 2022" was held on 14 November 2022, in Bishkek at "Bellagio Premium", Avangard Business Center, from 6 to 9 p.m. Representatives of government services, international and national experts, representatives of embassies and international organizations, as well as filmmakers and civic activists took part in the ceremony. This year the festival was held under the slogan "Climate and Crises: the Situation with the Fundamental Rights of Citizens, Alternatives for the SDGs".
"The key topic is human rights in times of crises and disasters, because during such a period of trials it is important to find alternative strategies to promote Sustainable Development Goals. This is possible only if human rights and freedoms are respected and citizens participate equally in the decision-making process at all levels of government."
The 6th Conference of the International Labour Rights Monitoring Mission in Central Asia was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on November 15-16, 2022. The Conference was held with the support of the FES Kyrgyzstan office and the Mission partners during the dates of the XVI International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan”. This year, the Festival was dedicated to “Climate and Crises: Fundamental human rights and alternatives for the SDGs” and ran from November 14 to 18, 2022.
The current law on NGOs in Kyrgyzstan was adopted in 1999. Since then, the Kyrgyz authorities have repeatedly raised the idea of tightening control over NGOs. For instance, between 2013 and 2016, the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament of Kyrgyzstan) attempted to introduce a "foreign agent" clause into the legislation. Each time, public criticism of the bill deterred the authorities from taking such repressive measures. However, amendments to the law adopted in 2021 imposed onerous reporting obligations on NGOs, requiring them to disclose their sources of income and areas of expenditure, effectively limiting freedom of association. On November 3, 2022, the Constitutional Court of the Kyrgyz Republic took up an appeal to review the constitutionality of the 2021 amendments, following a motion by Tolekan Ismailova, director of the human rights movement Bir Duino.