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
"The shift toward renewable energy must take place through a clear and inclusive just transition." Zingiswa Losi, COSATU South Africa.
"Social dialogue enables workers to participate in just transition plans of their cities that are good for people and the environment." Peggy Hessen Følsvik, LO Norway
"Workers are the backbone of global efforts to save the planet." Akiko Gono, ITUC.
ILO to Review Turkmenistan for Compliance with International Law Prohibiting Forced Labor
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.