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Independent Review Recommends Funding to Address Harms

An external review of the World Bank Group’s private funding institutions found that social and environmental abuses caused by their development projects went largely unaddressed, leaving victims without remedies. The review focused on the…
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Report Highlights Shortcomings in Recruitment Practices and Accountability

Uzbekistan has made important strides in reducing the use of forced labor in its cotton sector but has yet to eliminate it completely, according to new research released this week. Uzbek Forum, an international nongovernmental organization,…
Workers load cotton that they have picked onto trucks during the 2016 cotton harvest.
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Reforms Need to Target the Underlying Soviet-Era System Encouraging Forced Labor

Despite a slew of steps taken to curb the practice, forced labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields remains widespread, according to a recently released report. The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), which has been monitoring…
Women carrying bags of cotton to be weighed and loaded onto a truck in Jizzakh region during the 2016 cotton harvest. The government typically requires people to meet a daily quota of cotton picked, from which the costs of food and transport are deducted.
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World Bank President Jim Kim Should Press to Eliminate Labor Abuses

Despite recent reforms, systematic forced labor was still rampant in 2017 in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector, new research shows. A report by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), a German-based nongovernmental…
A woman picks cotton during the 2015 cotton harvest, which runs from early September to late October or early November annually.
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Some Students, Teachers, Medical Workers Released

The recent release of 200,000 university students and some teachers and medical workers from forced labor picking cotton in Uzbekistan came shortly after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s first meeting with the country’s new president, Shavkat…
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There is an empty seat in a first-grade classroom in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, where 6-year-old Amirbek Rakhmatov should be sitting. He died on September 15, according to Uzbek provincial officials, suffocating under a load of cotton as he slept in a trailer…
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In May 2002, Human Rights Watch joined fifty-three other non-governmental organizations in writing to EBRD President Jean Lemierre to express concern about the detrimental impact of holding the meeting in Tashkent on respect for human rights in Uzbekistan…
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WIDESPREAD LABOR ABUSE ON BANANA PLANTATIONS IN ECUADOR Ecuadorian children as young as eight work on banana plantations in hazardous conditions, while adult workers fear being fired if they try to exercise their right to organize, Human Rights Watch…