Human Rights News

Umida Niyazova on Forced Labor in Uzbekistan: Despite progress, forced labor remains a reality in Uzbekistan

By Catherine Putz If the ultimate goal is the eradication of all forced labor in Uzbekistan, Tashkent hasn’t yet achieved it. While most observers concede progress on this front, and welcome greater openness on the part of Uzbek authorities in discussing the cotton industry, the reality remains that some people in Uzbekistan are forced to …

Uzbek Human Rights Defenders Appeal to International Companies Not to Lift Boycott of Uzbek Cotton

In the last few years, the government of Uzbekistan has undertaken reforms aimed at ending forced labor in its cotton industry, some of which have resulted in a significant reduction of the number of citizens forced into the fields. However, the root structural problems of the system which continue to incentivize and drive forced labor …

Home of Poet and Journalist Mahmud Rajabov Raided by Police

On May 10, police raided the home of 55-year-old journalist and poet Mahmud Rajabov in the Gurlan district of the Khorezm region. Rajabov told Uzbek-German Forum (UGF) that seven or eight police officers searched his home for two hours and confiscated his laptop, smartphone, CDs, DVDs and books including “History of the Prophets” by Muhammad …

State Quotas Drive Corrupt Practices Throughout Cotton Sector

The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan will soon pass judgment on a failed appeal against the verdict of the criminal court of the Syrdarya region in December 2018 in a case of embezzlement at the “Sardoba Pakhta Tozalash” cotton gin plant in the Akaltyn district. The director of the plant, along with six other employees were …

Uzbek expert: The Uzbek government continues to consider the cotton sector as its “cash cow”

Alisher Ilkhamov, a well-known Uzbek expert, sociologist and Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, commented on the issue of the boycott of Uzbek cotton: Recently, the government of Uzbekistan, represented by Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbayeva, Minister of Employment and Labor Relations Sherzod Kudbiyev, along with the ambassadors …

In Karakalpakstan, a farmer was pulled from a noose. Shortly before, his land had been taken away.

Shukhrat Saparov, a 29-year-old farmer from the Beruni district in Karakalpakstan, tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in the barn of his cowshed on April 24. The man survived thanks to the help of relatives who freed him from the noose in time. The man was taken to a district hospital where he is …

In Namangan, hundreds of hectares sown with vegetables were destroyed to increase cotton production

Radio Ozodlik spoke with farmers from the Pap district of the Namangan region, who reported that the local authorities had ordered the destruction of their crop of vegetables and melons, in order to free the land for cotton planting. According to the farmers, several of them who had spent all their money on planting vegetables …

Uzbek Farmers Forced to Give up their Land

Uzbek farmers Nargiza Mamajonova and Zuhra Azizova have complained to the Ozodlik radio that the state has confiscated their land. Both women said that they had rented abandoned land and invested all their money to establish successful farms. Today they are left with nothing. Last year, Nargiza Mamajonova, a 38-year-old mother of five who lives …

UGF Report: Despite Progress, Systemic Forced Labor Persists in Uzbekistan’s 2018 Cotton Harvest

Cotton Campaign urges further reform For Immediate Release Washington, D.C.—April 4, 2019—Systemic forced labor persisted in Uzbekistan’s 2018 cotton harvest despite a meaningful government reform effort, according to evidence documented in a new report by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), “They said we wouldn’t have to pick and now they send us to …

European Parliament: Uzbek Government Should Improve its Human Rights Record and End Forced Labour

Uzbek-German Forum (UGF) welcomes the European Parliament’s approval of recommendations of 26 March 2019 to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission on the new comprehensive agreement between the EU and Uzbekistan. UGF and other civil society groups had raised concerns regarding the persistent use of forced labour in the cotton, silk …