For Human Rights Day, Six German NGOs Together Ask Chancellor Merkel to Adopt a Strict Human Rights Agenda on Uzbekistan
From forced child labor to systematic torture, the human rights situation in Uzbekistan demands a firm human rights plan of action from Germany
Berlin, 8 December 2011 – Today, on the occasion of the upcoming December 10 international Human Rights Day, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), INKOTA-netzwerk, terre des hommes Deutschland, Brot für die Welt, and the Eurasian Transition Group, have sent an Open Letter to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. The letter urges the German government, through a series of concrete recommendations, to commit to a strict human rights-centered and outspoken diplomacy on Uzbekistan, one of today’s most repressive regimes in the world.
From state-sponsored child labor during the cotton harvesting involving from 1.5 to 2 million Uzbek children each year to the subversion of basic civil and human rights, including the systematic use of torture, the Uzbekistan human rights record is atrocious. The country has closed its doors to United Nations Special Rapporteurs, the International Labour Organization, and recently expelled the last independent international human rights NGO from Uzbekistan. Yet, the government of Uzbek President Karimov, thanks to the profitable collaboration with international cotton traders on the one hand, and the NATO allies such as Germany interested in Uzbekistan’s border with Afghanistan, thinks it has the necessary bargaining power to continue violating international human rights in complete impunity. This situation, the six NGOs signatories to today’s letter to Merkel argue, is neither acceptable nor sustainable. A concrete plan of action must be adopted by the German government, including in coordination with the European Union, to ensure accountability for human rights violations in Uzbekistan. The specific recommendations are enclosed in the Open Letter.
For further information, please contact:
ECCHR, Dr. Miriam Saage-Maaß,, Tel: +49(0)30/400 485 90
ECCHR – European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Zossener Str. 55-58, Aufgang D
D-10961 BERLIN
Phone: +49(0)30 – 40 04 85 90
Fax: +49(0)30 – 40 04 85 92
Council: Michael Ratner, Lotte Leicht, Dieter Hummel, Christian Bommarius
General Secretary: Wolfgang Kaleck