About the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF)
UGF is a Berlin-based NGO whose main activity is monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, as well as supporting local activists who work inside the country. The organization was founded and is led by the award-winning human rights activist, Umida Niyazova, who was forced to flee her native Uzbekistan in 2006 because of her human rights work.
The UGF team at present consists of five people working on a permanent basis in Germany and Sweden, as well as 10 correspondents, monitors and two caricaturists who are based in Uzbekistan.
UGF has been able to create a network of monitors inside Uzbekistan where harassment and repression of human rights activists persists. Until now, UGF has focused on systemic problems in Uzbekistan such as forced and child labor in the cotton sector and the politicized use of exit visas and residence permits which severely curtail freedom of movement and association.
Since 2009, UGF has annually monitored child and forced labor in the cotton sector and has produced six reports based on our research. As a member of the “Cotton Campaign”, a broad coalition of organizations campaigning to eradicate forced labor in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, UGF has played a unique role by providing coalition partners with valuable documentation and witness testimonies on the labor rights situation in the cotton sector. UGF’s last report was released jointly with Human Rights Watch and achieved extensive international media coverage and significant impact with key interlocutors such as the World Bank and the ILO.