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After Crackdown, Kazakh Government Needs to Restore Workers’ Rights

After nearly 16 months behind bars, trade union leaders Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Eleusinov are finally back home with their families in western Kazakhstan.
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Amin Yeleusinov.
News
Things are getting serious again in western Kazakhstan. This oil-rich region on the Caspian Sea was the scene over several months in 2011 of prolonged labor unrest, culminating in clashes that December that killed at least a dozen people.
  
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News

Drop Charges; Release Them

Update, April 7, 2017
 
 On April 7, 2017 an Astana court sentenced trade union leader Nurbek Kushakbaev to two-and-a-half years in prison for "actions provoking continued participation in an strike declared illegal by a court." Kushakbaev's…
Amin Yeleusinov.
News

Confederation’s Leader Harassed

(Berlin) – An economic court in Kazakhstan on January 4, 2017, ordered the permanent closure of an independent trade union body, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling is an egregious…
2017-eca-kazakhstan-kharkova
Video
Kazakhstan’s new trade union law, adopted after unresolved labor strikes in 2011, has made it more difficult to organize independent unions in the country. Changes to the labor and criminal codes have contributed to an environment hostile to worker…
Report

 Summary
 
 The government of Kazakhstan fails to guarantee workers’ rights to freedom of association and to fully protect their interests in the workplace. Workers must overcome significant obstacles established in law and in practice to…
News

Fix Labor Laws, End Hostile Environment

(Almaty) – Kazakhstan’s new trade union law, adopted after unresolved labor strikes in 2011, has made it more difficult to organize independent unions in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Changes to the labor and criminal…
Workers at the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Temirtau, June 13, 2012.
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…
Report
Summary Climate change is here with us. We cannot stop it. The only way is to see how to work around it. -- Peter Ekai Lokoel, Deputy Governor Turkana, September 2014 Over the past century, the average annual temperature on earth has increased, the…
Report

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Uphold Labor Rights, Prevent Harassment, Anti-Union Bias

(Almaty) – Repressive laws and abusive practices by the government and some oil companies violate the labor rights of thousands of workers employed in Kazakhstan’s booming petroleum sector, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Violent…
News

Decision Ignores Gibe III Dam’s Impact on Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Concerns

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank undermined the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment with its approval on July 12, 2012, of a US$684 million loan, Human Rights Watch, Friends of Lake Turkana, International Rivers, Survival International, and…
News
"The soldiers would say, 'Tell me about this sugarcane.' If we do not say something good, they beat us. They have truncheons, guns, and stun devices. They come every day." These are the words of a Mursi man, an indigenous pastoralist in southern Ethiopia…
News

37 Face Criminal Charges Following December Violence

(Almaty) – The Kazakhstan judiciary should ensure a fair and public trial for the 37 people scheduled for trial on March 27, 2012, on charges of organizing and participating in mass unrest in December 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The defendants,…
Video
Every year, tens of thousands of migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan travel to the Central Asian economic powerhouse of Kazakhstan in search of employment. Thousands of these migrant workers, often together with their children, find work in tobacco farming,…
Report

 
 “Hellish Work” 
 Exploitation of Migrant Tobacco Workers in Kazakhstan
 Summary and
 Key Recommendations
 Methodology
 Part 1:
 Background
 1.1
 Migration to Kazakhstan
 1.2
 Kazakhstani Law and Policy…