May 282009
 

Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan

S  T  A  T  E  M  E  N  T

in Connection with the Ratification of the Convention of the United Nations against Corruption by Uzbekistan.

It is pleasant that Uzbekistan joined the Convention of the United Nations Organization against Corruption on July, 29th, 2008 which was accepted by the UN on October, 31st, 2003 . Experts from Europe, the United States and Central Asia held in Tashkent an anticorruption seminar from March, 31st till April, 1st organised by UNODC — United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Radio “Free Europe” informed on May, 21st, 2009 in its on-line edition that Ambassador of the USA in Uzbekistan Richard Norland declared that the United States was ready to render Uzbekistan technical assistance with a view of implication provisions of the United Nations Continue reading »

Apr 212009
 
Lola Karimova-Tillayeva
21.04.09 16:05
Uzbek president’s second daughter enters Paris’s beau monde
Uznews.net – Uzbek President Islam Karimov must be proud of his daughters who are Uzbekistan’s ambassadors to UN agencies in Europe where they have become friends of A-list cinema and show business stars.

The president’s youngest daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillayeva, Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO, has hosted a reception in Paris on 8 April to present her new Uzbekistan 2020 charity fund.

Her website reported that the former First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac and the incumbent French president’s elder brother, Guillaume Sarkozy, a textile producer, had attended the reception.

French actor Alain Delon even kissed her hand, flattering her self-esteem.

The Uzbek president’s daughter was all glamorous, wearing diamonds and carrying a little silver bag.

What is it about the Uzbekistan 2020 fund that makes it possible for it to gather France’s beau monde around the daughter of one of the world’s most brutal dictators?

Karimova-Tillayeva’s website says that the fund aims to hold cultural and intellectual exchange between Uzbekistan and Europe and support children’s education and development in Uzbekistan. These aims should be achieved by 2020, which is why the fund is called Uzbekistan 2020.

The successful advancement of Lola Karimova and her sister Gulnara Karimova, who is Uzbekistan’s ambassador to the UN Office at Geneva, in the European high society is thanks to Europeans’ unawareness about the situation in Uzbekistan, believes Uzbek human rights activist Mutabar Tajibayeva, who is now in Paris.

“The French people know almost nothing about our country and that Gulnara and Lola are the daughters of the dictator who is responsible for the massacre of people in Andijan in 2005 and for the terrible human rights and economic situation in the country,” Tajibayeva said. Continue reading »

Apr 032009
 
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Gulnara Karimova
03.04.09 23:38                 gulnora-karimova
Chopard postpones cooperation with Uzbek presidential daughter
Uznews.net – The Swiss jewellery company Chopard has declined to hold the joint presentation of the new Guli brand, created by the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova, at a watch and jewellery tradeshow in Basel.

Despite the long-planned joint presentation of Gulnara’s jewellery collection at the Basel fair between 26 March and 2 April, Chopard suddenly backed away from its commitment, postponing the event indefinitely.

There was no joint presentation of the collection by Guli and Chopard in Basel, Annette Heuer, Chopard’s public relations officer, said.

She said that Chopard had not stopped cooperation with Karimova, who is Uzbekistan’s envoy to the UN Office at Geneva, but had suspended it until it found out what the money raised from the sales of the collection would be spent on. Karimova’s guli.uz website claims that it will be spent on children’s projects in Uzbekistan.

Realising that cooperation with Karimova, a daughter of one of the world’s most brutal dictators, will give rise to questions about Chopard’s policy and ethical standards, Heuer tried to reassure the press that this cooperation had nothing to do with politics. Continue reading »

Mar 252009
 
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Gulnara Karimova
25.03.09 10:54
Chopard and Guli blood diamonds
Uznews.net – Uzbek human rights activist Abdujalil Boymatov has urged Chopard jewellery and watch company to reconsider its relations with Gulnara Karimova and plans to promote the Guli brand in order to avoid association with blood diamonds.

Boimatov said he sent a letter to the company in which he expressed his bewilderment about its cooperation with the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova. Continue reading »

Nov 202008
 

forced-child-laboruzbekistanautumn2008

t 202 347-4100 f 202 347-4885 laborrights@ilrf.org www.laborrights.org
Uzbekistan update: Government still forcing young children to harvest
cotton despite pledges to ban the practice

A group of human rights defenders in Uzbekistan
International Labor Rights Forum
November 2008
This report is based on information gathered by human rights defenders within Uzbekistan in
September/October 2008. Contrary to the government of Uzbekistan’s assertions that it has
banned forced child labor, recent information suggests it continues to compel children as young
as 11 and 12 to pick cotton, closing schools and using other coercive measures to enforce
compliance. Although Uzbekistan has recently signed two ILO conventions against forced and
child labor, and issued a new decree ostensibly prohibiting the practice, information from
around the country shows that the government continues to rely on the state?orchestrated
mass mobilization of children to bring in the 2008 cotton harvest. Uzbekistan is the world’s
third largest exporter of cotton, and cotton is that country’s largest source of export revenue.
Children already in the fields for weeks
According to reports from nine of Uzbekistan’s twelve territorial units, (Jizzakh, Fergana,
Namangan, Syr Daria, Surkhandaria, Bukhara, Khorezm, Tashkent and Samarkand provinces) by
the third week of of September local governments and school administrators had already sent
children as young as the seventh grade (ages 13?14), and in some cases as young as fifth grade
(11?12) out to the fields to pick cotton. By the end of September, pressure to bring in the
harvest before rains began near the end of the month led local officials to order the smallest
schoolchildren, from first grade on, to labor on the harvest.
In Fergana, schools were closed and children were sent out from September 22, though a week
earlier those same schools forced children to sign statements that they would remain in school
over the fall semester. Journalists on the scene suggested that these statements were intended
to give local government officials plausible deniability if the children’s presence in the fields was
challenged.
In one Namangan district, journalists and human rights defenders observed children from
several schools, some as young as eleven, picking cotton. The children reported that each day
local government officials and bureaucrats from the local education department would visit the
fields to check up on the number of pupils out picking, and to make sure that harvest targets
were being met.
The Samarkand provincial government also sent its schoolchildren out to pick cotton on
September 22. Children as young as 13 were forced from their classrooms on that date, though
International Labor Rights Forum Continue reading »

Oct 282008
 

forced-child-laboruzbekistanspring2008

Forced Child Labor in Uzbekistan’s 2008
Spring Agricultural Season

A Report Based on Surveys in Two Rural Districts in Uzbekistan
International Labor Rights Forum
And Human Rights Defenders in Uzbekistan
1
Note
This report was completed by a group of Uzbek human rights defenders known to the
International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF). While these individuals deserve credit for their
thorough research, the present situation in Uzbekistan requires that they remain anonymous.
Amnesty International’s 2008 report The State of the World’s Human Rights finds that in 2007
Uzbekistan’s “human rights defenders and journalists continued to report being threatened by
members of the security services for carrying out legitimate activities. Several reported being
assaulted and beaten and detained by law enforcement officers or people they suspected
working for the security services. Relatives spoke of being threatened and harassed by security
forces; some were detained in order to put pressure on human rights defenders.”1
The report focuses on the spring 2008 agricultural season. However, there have already been
several reports showing that the problems described here have continued during the current
fall 2008 harvest, as well, despite claims to the contrary. For example, the website Uznews.net
reported on September 26, 2008, “Schoolchildren aged 13 and over have been sent to pick
cotton in all districts in Samarkand Region despite government pledges not to use child labor
in this cotton harvest…. An official from the Pastdargom District education department said
this order had taken him and his colleagues by surprise because only few days before they were
ordered to ensure 100% attendances at schools.”2
ILRF continues to work with other human rights groups, socially responsible investors and
businesses to pressure the government of Uzbekistan to end its use of children in the cotton
sector immediately.
1 “Amnesty International Report 2008: The State of the World’s Human Rights-Uzbekistan,” Amnesty
International, http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/regions/europe-and-central-asia/uzbekistan, 2008.
2 “Schoolchildren sent to pick cotton in Samarkand Region,” Uznews.net,
http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=en&sub=top&cid=2&nid=7398, September 26, 2008.
2
Introduction
At the end of March and in early April this year, Uzbekistan’s parliament ratified the ILO
Convention on Minimal Age of Employment (No. 138, 1973) and the Convention on
Prohibition and Immediate Action for Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (No.
182, 1999). The very next month, however, under the direction of Uzbekistan’s central
government, local authorities and school administrations forced thousands of children out to
the fields for spring agricultural work. In temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius (96
Fahrenheit) children as young as 12 – 15 performed heavy labor, such as hoeing, weeding,
applying fertilizer and pesticides and transplanting young cotton plants. Children suffered
heatstroke, burns, and a variety of infectious diseases from the poor working conditions, long
hours, and lack of clean water and basic sanitation. School hours were truncated and for some
periods schools closed altogether to spur children into the fields. Continue reading »