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[PDF] Review of the 2013 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan: State forced-labour system continues

Author: Cotton Campaign, Published on: 27 November 2013

...The Uzbek government systematically forced farmers to produce state-established quotas and children and adults to pick cotton in one of the largest state-orchestrated systems of forced labour in the world...[T]he government coercively mobilized over a million citizens, including children as young as age 15, to cultivate and pick cotton. Despite the presence of International Labour Organization (ILO) observers, the government silenced Uzbek human rights monitors through arrest, imprisonment and intimidation. Eleven citizens lost their lives as a result of the forced-labour system...The forced-labour produced cotton from the 2013 harvest is destined primarily for firms in China and Bangladesh, and secondarily for firms operating in Uzbekistan, such as Daewoo International and Indorama...In Surkandarya region, authorities ordered private businesses with ten or more employees to send...half of their staff to pick cotton. In September, Trastbank sent one-fifth of its staff, and the Shurtanneftgaz gas exploration company sent shifts of 800 workers to pick cotton. GM Uzbekistan sent 32 people to pick cotton, nine of the company’s own employees and the rest hired workers. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Daewoo International, Indorama, Trustbank, Shurtanneftegaz & GM Uzbekistan to respond. Indorama response provided. Daewoo International, Trustbank, Shurtanneftegaz & GM Uzbekistan did not respond.]

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Related companies: GM Uzbekistan (joint venture General Motors & UzAvtosanoat) Indorama Shurtanneftegaz Trustbank