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28 Nov 2016

The Cotton Campaign

Turkmenistan: Advocates urge UN Secretary-General to address forced & child labour in cotton industry & repressions against human rights defenders during visit

We are writing on the occasion of your forthcoming trip to Turkmenistan to convene the first global conference on sustainable transport on 26 and 27 November 2016 in Ashgabat. We believe it is important that you privately and publicly express concerns about forced and child labor in Turkmenistan. It has been widely reported that every year the Government of Turkmenistan forcibly mobilizes tens of thousands of public-sector workers and farmers to cultivate and harvest cotton...[W]e are deeply disturbed by reports of government reprisals against journalists and other members of civil society who attempt to document and report on human rights issues...We urge that on this trip you demonstrate a strong commitment to stopping forced labor in the cotton sector of Turkmenistan...