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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…
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, Karakalpakstan…
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…

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…

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
Overview of key human rights concerns in Central Asia
 October 2015
 Kazakhstan’s human rights record has seen an unequivocal and marked deterioration in the last five years, with the authorities launching an…

On Forced Labor in Uzbekistan

June 5, 2015   His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon United Nations Secretary-General United Nations Headquarters New York, NY 10017   Dear Mr. Secretary-General: In advance of your upcoming trip to Uzbekistan, we write to request that you use your visit to…
A report reveals that the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, its quasi-independent accountability mechanism, won’t investigate whether the bank is perpetuating forced labor in Uzbekistan, even though its initial examination found that bank projects in the…

Inspection Panel Should Ensure Funds Not Used for Abuses

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank’s internal watchdog should investigate whether bank projects are contributing to forced labor in Uzbekistan, the Cotton Campaign said today. The Cotton Campaign, a coalition of human rights, labor, investor, and business…
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…

HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the UPR of Uzbekistan, which reflects many important recommendations from a wide array of governments on long-standing and urgent human rights concerns, including: the continued imprisonment of…

Proposed Project Fails to Address Forced, Child Labor

Update: On September 25, the Asian Development Bank’s board approved the $220 million loan for the Modernization and Improved Performance of the Amu Bukhara Irrigation System (ABIS) project in Uzbekistan. This project will benefit the cotton industry.…