October 29, 2018

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights presents an overview of the latest news on the forced labor situation in Uzbekistan’s 2018 cotton season.

The cotton harvest is still underway in Uzbekistan. With the onset of cold weather, the number of volunteers has declined and, despite increasing the payment for pickers to 10-12 cents per 1 kg, it has not been enough to attract a sufficient number of voluntary workers.

Under the orders of the heads of the regions, employees of organizations and enterprises around the country are being forced to pick cotton under the threat of dismissal.

Almost every day local media report on the dismissals of hokims, prosecutors, police chiefs, and tax inspectors for “poor organization” and “mistakes made in harvesting cotton in 2018”.

The implementation of the state cotton plan is a priority for the heads of regions and districts. According to information obtained on October 21, the Tashkent region is showing the worst results for fulfilling the established plan and has harvested only 50.69% of the required amount. As a result, the hokim of the Tashkent region was reprimanded and the police chief was dismissed.

Download the: Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 4