Uzbekistan Cotton Update
Decline in the Use of Forced Labour
Over a number of years ACRATH has joined with other organisation in campaigning against the use of child and forced labour in the Uzbekistan Cotton Industry. It seems our efforts are bearing fruit. Human Rights Watch has reported:
“President Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed forced labor in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 19. It was the first time an Uzbek president has acknowledged the issue on the international stage, after a decade of campaigning by the Cotton Campaign and allies and international pressure from governments and other stakeholders. Forced labor was raised again in a meeting with the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, on September 20.
On September 21, 2017, Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov ordered officials to recall students and education and medical workers, who had been picking cotton under threat of penalty since the harvest began on September 10, despite an August degree banning recruiting these workers. Students began to leave various regions for home later on September 21.”
Such developments give us hope that child slavery and forced labour will be eliminated from the Uzbek cotton industry. Read more…