Massive mobilization of teachers, doctors, nurses and other adults to the cotton harvest has degraded education and health services.
Until recently, the government mobilized schoolchildren age on a mass scale to pick cotton, leaving schools throughout much of Uzbek cotton country effectively closed during the harvest season as pupils from the fifth grade and older and teachers from all grades worked in the fields.
Adults are threatened with the loss of employment, pensions and child benefits if they refuse to work.
In the case of, for example, Bangladesh, where much of the cotton used in manufacturing is traditionally from Uzbekistan, IKEA suppliers are required to buy from India. During the yearthe area under cotton plantation was about 1. Threats of expulsion from school keep children in the fields despite the hazardous nature of the work and receiving little or no financial benefit.
The system traps farmers in poverty, and the state profits from high-priced sales to global buyers. Forced-labor produced cotton from Uzbekistan is exported primarily to China and Bangladesh, where it enters into global supply chains of brand-name retail and apparel companies.
In only third-year students were mobilized on a mass scale, including, in many cases, 17 year olds. The Uzbek-government forced labor system violates the human rights of Uzbek citizens and condemns future generations to a cycle of poverty.
The single biggest destination for Uzbek cotton is the European market.
The United States government and European Union should withdraw generalized system of preferences for Uzbekistan until the Uzbek government Uzbek cotton that it meets GSP conditionality to protect fundamental human rights.
The government of Uzbekistan harasses, detains, and exiles Uzbek citizens who call for recognition of human rights, violating their human rights and denying freedoms of speech and the press. Call on the Uzbek government to accept ILO monitoring of the cotton harvest that includes: The profits disappear into a secret fund to which only the highest level officials have access, known as the Selkhozfond.
Department of Labor reported that the cotton industry is still employing underage children and indentured labourers. Therefore, after signing the Pledge, companies must follow up with actions to implement the commitment.
Sign the Company Pledge against forced labor of children and adults in the cotton sector of Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government combines these orders with threats, detains and tortures Uzbek activists seeking to monitor the situation, and refuses to address the problem of forced labor.
They allege that the Karimov administration "detains, tortures, and exiles Uzbek citizens who call for recognition of human rights, violating their human rights and denying freedoms of speech and the press" and that the forced labour system in the country "violates the human rights of Uzbek citizens and condemns future generations to a cycle of poverty" and "blatantly violates the international convention against trafficking in persons and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Join people around the world in calling on an end to forced labor in the cotton industry.
The government forces over a million citizens to pick cotton and deliver harvest quotas under threat of penalty, including expulsion from school, job loss, and loss of social security benefits.
The state-controlled system of forced labor blatantly violates the international convention against trafficking in persons and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Every year the government of Uzbekistan forcibly Uzbek cotton over a million citizens to grow and harvest cotton. Eliminating cotton picked with forced labor is a critical step in the responsible sourcing process.
Pests are suitably controlled with biological methods. However, while appreciating the need to introduce better high Uzbek cotton and early maturing cotton, new varieties have been adopted since ; these varieties are: A conversation with experts on Uzbekistan European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights The Cotton Campaign is a global coalition of human rights NGOs, trade unions, business associations and investors coalesced to end forced labor of children and adults in the cotton sector of Uzbekistan.
The government of Uzbekistan has increased the use of forced adult labor, apparently to compensate for fewer children. The Uzbek government forces farmers to grow cotton and deliver production quotas under threats of penalty, including the loss of the lease to farm the land, criminal charges and fines.
Provincial government offices order schoolteachers to close schools and enforce quotas in the cotton fields. Despite strong condemnation from the European Union over the use of child slavery in Uzbek cotton production, the EU continues to allow the Government of Uzbekistan to benefit from reduced trading tariffs for its cotton imports to the EU despite its own rules that these benefits should be withdrawn.
The United States government should enforce the Tariff Act, which prohibits the importation of goods made with forced labor, by denying imports of cotton from Uzbekistan until the Uzbek government ends forced labor. The Uzbek government requires farmers to grow cotton, and local provincial government offices khokimiyats forcibly mobilize adults and children to harvest cotton and meet assigned quotas.
The practice violates Uzbek labor laws and fundamental international labor and human rights conventions ratified by the Uzbek government. Uzbekistan, located in Central Asia, is one of the largest exporters of cotton in the world.Cotton Pledges Against Forced Labor. Thank you for your interest in signing the Cotton Pledges Against Forced Labor.
Over industry brands and retailers have signed the Uzbek Cotton Pledge, committing to end the practice. The Problem with Uzbek Cotton. The Uzbek government uses local government officials, hospital directors, and school presidents to mobilize workers; and detains and tortures human rights defenders seeking to monitor the harvests.
Uzbek farmers are forced to meet state-established cotton quotas, purchase inputs from one state-owned enterprise, and sell the cotton to a state-owned enterprise at artificially low prices, under threat losing usage of the land. End Cotton Crimes campaign.
Under pressure from campaigners Uzbekistan promised reforms of its forced labour system. However, it is far from finished and we are monitoring the situation closely, particularly during the cotton harvest in the autumn.
Cotton production in Uzbekistan is important to the national economy of the country. It is Uzbekistan 's main cash crop, accounting for 17% of its exports in  With annual cotton production of about 1 million ton of fiber (4%-5% of world production) and exports of , tons (10% of world exports), Uzbekistan is the 6th.
The Cotton Campaign is a global coalition of human rights, labor, investor and business organizations dedicated to eradicating child labor and forced labor in cotton production.
Our goals are to end the state systems of forced labor .Download