Search Results

Sort by
News

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…
202008bhr_unitedstates_ifcmigacao
News

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.
News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
News

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.
News

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.
News

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…
News
On June 27 we released a joint report documenting forced and child labor linked to the World Bank’s agriculture projects in Uzbekistan. We hoped it would cause bank officials to rethink their approach. But then the bank’s country team…
A school-age boy hides under direction from a teacher who feared he would be seen by a monitor during the 2016 cotton harvest, Beruni district, Karakalpakstan
News
The World Bank president, Jim Kim, said last year that he was going to re-orient the institution, declaring, “We have to make growth more equitable.” But the World Bank’s investments in Uzbekistan tell a different story. The Bank has loaned more than half…
News

Fighting Forced Labor in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Fields

  At age 60, Elena Urlaeva has been arrested, beaten, strip searched and threatened so many times that she stopped counting. She must slip out of her house under cover of darkness when no one is…
Uzbek human rights defender Elena Urlaeva, detained at a psychiatric hospital from March 1 to March 23, 2017.
Report
Summary Cotton is mandatory for everyone. The government gave the orders [to pick] and you will not go against those orders…. If I refuse, they will fire me…. We would lose the bread we eat. −Uzbek schoolteacher, October 2015, Turtkul,…
News

Systematic Violations Underpin Country’s Cotton Sector

(Brussels) – The World Bank is funding half a billion dollars in agricultural projects linked to forced and child labor in Uzbekistan, Human Rights Watch and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights said in a report released today. Under the…
A woman picks cotton during the 2015 cotton harvest, which runs from early September to late October or early November annually.
Video
The World Bank is funding half a billion dollars in agricultural projects linked to forced and child labor in Uzbekistan. Under the loan agreements, the Uzbek government is required to comply with laws prohibiting forced and child labor, and the World…
News

But Government Role Undermined Research

(Washington, DC) – A recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) confirms the scope and systematic nature of forced labor of Uzbek citizens during Uzbekistan’s 2016 cotton harvest, the Cotton Campaign said today. But the Uzbek government’…
News

Bank’s Management a Key Obstacle

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank has refused to acknowledge its human rights obligations in its new policy framework, Human Rights Watch said today. The bank’s third, and most likely final, draft of its new environmental and social framework, published…
A detainee in a government-run drug detention center in Vietnam. The World Bank provided funding for various HIV-related services in Vietnamese drug detention centers through a project that concluded in 2012.
News

Complaint Filed in Cotton Production Case

(Washington, DC) – A victim of forced labor in cotton production and three Uzbek human rights defenders filed a complaint on June 30, 2016, against the World Bank’s private lending arm, the Cotton Campaign coalition, the Uzbek-German Forum for Human…
News
At last week’s Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, high level officials highlighted key human rights messages. The Bank’s president, Takehiko Nakao, emphasized the importance of free speech for sustainable development in…
News

Support Participation, Accountability in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan

(Frankfurt) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its shareholder countries should ensure that the views of people living in poverty are central to its work, the Cotton Campaign, Human Rights Watch, and Urgewald said today. This is particularly important…
News

Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
News

On Forced Labor in Uzbekistan

November 19, 2015 Ms. Laura Tuck, Vice President for Sustainable Development Mr. Cyrill Muller, Vice President for Europe and Central Asia The World Bank 1818 H St, NW Washington, DC 20433 …