Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Rights group documents horrors of Uzbek cotton harvest
Rights group documents horrors of Uzbek cotton harvest
30
Apr '15
The government of Uzbekistan forced more than a million of its own citizens to pick cotton, and officials extorted individuals and businesses, including multinational companies, at a larger scale as part of the annual Uzbek cotton harvest in 2014, according to a new report released by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF).

The scathing report titled ‘The Government’s Riches, the People’s Burden: Human Rights Violations in Uzbekistan’s 2014 Cotton Harvest’ finds that in 2014, more public sector workers were mobilized than in previous years, handicapping essential public services such as healthcare and education during the two months of the cotton harvest.

Although the government did not systematically mobilize children throughout the country to pick cotton, as it had in previous years, this did not decrease the massive scale of forced labor, as the government instead coerced more adults to pick cotton in their place.

The study also found an unprecedented degree of extortion of individuals and businesses that fueled the forced labor system, including keeping people in fields even though there is no more to cotton to pick so people are still forced to pay fees for food and board, etc., and setting unattainable quotas so people had to pay to make up deficits.

“The scope of the bribery is simply astounding,” said Umida Niyazova, UGF director. “At all levels of government, officials take their cut, and Uzbek citizens, particularly public sector workers are forced to pay or pick cotton through intimidation and fear.”

The harvest also came at a high human cost. At least 17 people died and numerous people were injured as a result of the cotton harvest and poor or unsafe working and living conditions.

The Uzbek-German Forum has urged the Uzbek government to urgently undertake fundamental reforms of the cotton sector.

UGF recommended that the Uzbek government allow independent human rights organizations, activists, and journalists unfettered access to investigate and report on conditions in the cotton production sector.
It also recommended that the International Labor Organization (ILO) surveys and monitors labour practices.

UGF asked the government to enforce laws prohibiting the use of forced and child labour and vigorously prosecute non-compliance, end mandatory cotton production and harvest quotas and de-monopolizing agricultural inputs and the cotton sales markets.

The UGF also recommend that the US and the EU exclude cotton from Uzbekistan from benefitting from trade preferences under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) until the country ends its forced-labor system of cotton production. It has also pushed for investigating and prosecuting companies that are benefitting from or contributing to the forced labor system of cotton production.

It asked the EU to defer signing the textile protocol with Uzbekistan until concrete reforms demonstrably eradicate forced labor.


Must ReadView All

Uzbekistan-China meeting discusses textile cooperation

Textiles | On 20th Aug 2018

Uzbekistan-China meeting discusses textile cooperation

A meeting of the Uzbek-Chinese business forum on cooperation in the...

Amazon infuses additional $400 mn into India operations

Apparel/Garments | On 20th Aug 2018

Amazon infuses additional $400 mn into India operations

Amazon has invested an additional $400 million (₹2700 crore) in two...

Moldova wooing Indian investors in textiles, agriculture

Textiles | On 20th Aug 2018

Moldova wooing Indian investors in textiles, agriculture

Moldova is wooing Indian investors in textiles, agriculture and a few ...

Interviews View All

Mohammad Mamun Ar Rashid
UL VS Bangladesh Ltd

Productivity, creativity and innovation play a vital role in the growth of ...

Jim Desai
Blaiva Fabricaa

Fashion industry likely to remain labour-intensive in coming years

Sunil Kumar Sharma
Loknayak JPNSSSG Ltd

'The blend of cotton–linen yarn has high demand in the domestic and...

Vikas Banduke

Softech Controls Private Limited (SCPL) is a part of the Cotmac Group, an...

Ramez Basmaji

Fabusse is a Lebanon-based fashion agency that offers a variety of...

Mark Tokuhara

Japan-based FitJoy, a shoe brand for women, has been in the footwear...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Melissa Tate
University of New South Wales

<div><div><div><div><b>Melissa Tate</b>, a well-known scientist currently...

Pierre Wiertz
EDANA

EDANA, the international association serving the nonwovens and related...

Vaanee Bhatia
Gritstones Clothing

<div>Delhi-based Gritstones Clothing offers quality and exemplary style...

Amiben Shroff
Shrujan

From its modest beginning in the late 1960s, Shrujan has grown into a...

Sonam & Paras Modi
SVA

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


August 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search