Jun 122009
 

TODAY is World Day Against Child Labor!


This year is especially important because 2009 marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.


Find out more about World Day Against Child Labor on ILRF’s website here.

ILRF has a long history of working to stop child labor. We continue to support international conventions in addition to national and local legislation to reduce the worst forms of child labor and ensure that all workers’ rights are protected. Keep reading to find out:

What ILRF is doing to stop child labor

What YOU can do to stop child labor

Cotton
This week, ILRF Executive Director Bama Athreya is in Geneva at the International Labor Conference, the ILO’s annual gathering. ILRF helped to organize an event yesterday about the continued use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. The event featured speakers including Kailash Satyarthi of the Global March Against Child Labor as well as many other leading figures from human rights and labor organizations, government officials and companies.  The agenda from the event is available online here.

The event in Geneva comes less than a week after ILRF released a new report detailing how forced child labor continues to be used in the most recent cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. Additionally, Uzbek human rights advocates just released a new call for an international boycott of Uzbek cotton.

Jun 112009
 

Only a boycott of Uzbek cotton can convince the
Karimov regime to stop forced child labor in this country!
An open letter from Uzbek civic activists to:
· The European Union
· The United States Administration
· Companies importing cotton, textiles,
and cotton products
· International Executive Committee of
Cotton, Textiles, and Cotton Products;
Bremen Cotton Exchange; Gdynia
Cotton Association
· World Bank
· Asian Development Bank
cc:
· United Nations Human Rights Council
· International Labor Organization
· UNICEF
· European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development
· The Government and Citizens of
Uzbekistan
· Those concerned about human rights
in Uzbekistan
June 3, 2009
Summary:
· Despite ratifying International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, Uzbekistan
continues to use forced child labor.
· Uzbekistan does not reinvest the proceeds from its cotton exports into cotton
producers and the rural areas where it is grown, but siphons it into the hands of a
small group of the country’s ruling elites.
· World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans to Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector
have not led to genuine reform. Uzbekistan’s continued reliance upon a command
economy paves the way for loans to go into the hands of the ruling elite. Activists are
calling for international financial instruments to lend to the Uzbek agro-sector only
on a conditional basis, to encourage the reforms that would free Uzbek farmers
from the tyranny of a corrupt regime.
· Activists are calling for a boycott of Uzbek cotton. They call upon companies
importing cotton, in particular the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre , as well as
retailers, to adhere to the principles of corporate social responsibility
· The international community should not take at face value mere spoken or written
commitments made by Uzbekistan, but should demand actions demonstrating a
complete end to the practice of forced child labor that can be verified via an
independent monitoring during the cotton season.
· Activists call on the U.S. government and the EU to take steps to prevent their
markets from being penetrated by products bearing traces of forced child labor. Continue reading »

Jun 042009
 

http://www.laborrights.org/sites/default/files/publications-and-resources/UzbekCottonFall08Report.pdf

1
Initiative of a group of Uzbek human rights activists and researchers in partnership
with the International Labor Rights Forum
“We Live Subject to their Orders”:
A Three?Province Survey of Forced Child Labor in
Uzbekistan’s 2008 Cotton Harvest
Tashkent – New York, 2009
2
Table of contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3
INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5
BACKGROUND………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5
METHODOLOGY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..9
CHILDREN’S WORK ON THE 2008 HARVEST…………………………………………………………………………………….10
‘FIRST WE FORBADE THE CHILDREN FROM GOING OUT INTO THE FIELDS, AND THEN WE CHASED THEM OUT THERE TO
PICK COTTON’ ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………10
CHAIN OF COMMAND …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….13
COERCION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………15
CONDITIONS IN THE FIELDS …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….20
CONSEQUENCES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………24
SOCIAL ATTITUDES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….25
CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….27
APPENDIX: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..29
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR INTERVIEWING SCHOOLCHILDREN………………………………………………………………………………29
RESOLUTION OF THE CABINET OF MINISTERS, NO 207 ………………………………………………………………………………..31
3
Executive Summary
Uzbekistan is the world’s sixth largest producer of cotton, and the third largest exporter. For
decades, it has used the forced labor of its schoolchildren starting in the early primary grades, college
and university students, and civil servants, to harvest that cotton by hand. Unlike child labor in
agricultural sectors in some other countries, this practice is organized and controlled by the central
government. Each fall, shortly after the start of the school year, the government orders schools to close
and school administrators to send the children out to the fields, where they remain until the cotton
harvest is brought in. The current report is based on seventy?two interviews in three different provinces
with participants in the fall 2008 harvest. Continue reading »

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 »

Apr 022009
 

III
111TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION S. RES. 99
Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Government of Uzbekistan
should immediately enforce its existing domestic legislation and fulfill
its international commitments aimed at ending state-sponsored forced
and child labor.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
APRIL 2, 2009
Mr. HARKIN (for himself, Mr. SANDERS, and Mr. BINGAMAN) submitted the
following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
RESOLUTION
Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Government
of Uzbekistan should immediately enforce its existing
domestic legislation and fulfill its international commitments
aimed at ending state-sponsored forced and child
labor.
Whereas the United States has a growing strategic involvement
in Central Asia;
Whereas the interests of the United States in Central Asia,
including the operations in Afghanistan, can only be secured
by the presence in the region of viable, vigorous democracies
that fully guarantee the economic and social
rights of all people, including children;
VerDate Nov 24 2008 05:53 Apr 03, 2009 Jkt 079200 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6300 E:\BILLS\SR99.IS SR99 rfrederick on PROD1PC67 with BILLS
2
•SRES 99 IS
Whereas the Government of Uzbekistan continues to commit
serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrest
and detention, torture in custody, and the severe restriction
of freedom of speech, the press, religion, independent
political activity, and nongovernmental organizations;
Whereas the Government of Uzbekistan detains thousands of
people for political or religious reasons;
Whereas Uzbekistan is the third largest exporter of cotton in
the world, and cotton is 1 of the largest sources of export
revenue for Uzbekistan; Continue reading »

Mar 272009
 
Chopard’s Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele with Karimova.
27.03.09 17:27
Chopard’s controversy over Guli blood diamonds
Uznews.net – Chopard representatives have denied their involvement in promoting the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova’s Guli jewellery collection at an international watch and jewellery tradeshow in Basel, while Guli representatives claim the opposite.

A German journalist who is covering the tradeshow from Basel said that Chopard representatives had claimed that the presentation of Guli was being held with Chopard’s involvement.

A Chopard representative told the journalist that certain issues should be solved in relations between her company and Guli.

In particular, Chopard wants to clarify the guli.uz website’s claim that money raised from selling Guli jewellery will be spent on children’s projects in Uzbekistan.

There will be no joint presentation of the collection until this issue is clarified, she said, adding that even then it would be done no earlier than April or May.

However, those manning the Guli stand in Basel told the journalist that the presentation of their collection was being held jointly with Chopard and that the entire collection had been designed for this company. Continue reading »