Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Uzbekistan

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Uzbekistan

2016 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

No Advancement – Efforts Made But Complicit in Forced Child Labor

In 2016, Uzbekistan made efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, but was also complicit in the use of forced child labor. The Government expanded the monitoring activities of both the ILO-led Third Party Monitoring and its own Coordination Council-led monitoring. The Government also took steps to improve the Feedback Mechanism for reporting labor violations in the cotton harvest and investigated complaints of forced child and adult labor received through this mechanism. However, Uzbekistan is receiving an assessment of no advancement because there were reports that some local officials mobilized children to pick cotton in the region of Khorezm and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. There was no evidence of centrally-coordinated forced mobilization of children. However, the Government maintained policies in the cotton sector that mandate regional harvest quotas and set crop prices at levels that create incentives for local administrators to forcibly mobilize labor, creating an ongoing risk of forced child labor. Public confidence in the Feedback Mechanism remained low, and some users reported retaliation for complaints, indicating flaws in the system for receiving and processing forced child labor complaints. Members of civil society who attempted to conduct independent monitoring of child labor in the cotton harvest reported experiencing harassment by the local government authorities. A Presidential Decree was issued in October 2016 prohibiting unannounced inspections in private businesses, including labor inspections. In addition to continued reports of the worst forms of child labor, including forced child labor in the cotton harvest, a limited number of reports indicate that children perform dangerous tasks in cultivating silk cocoons. Overall, gaps in law enforcement and insufficient coordination with provincial officials impede Uzbekistan’s ability to fully address the child labor problem.

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Some children in Uzbekistan engage in the worst forms of child labor in harvesting cotton.(1-23) Although there is an overall lack of current data on child labor in Uzbekistan, a limited number of reports indicate that children also perform dangerous tasks in cultivating silk cocoons.(4, 24-26). Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Uzbekistan.

Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Children

Age

Percent

Working (% and population)

5 to 14

4.3 (244,095)

Attending School (%)

5 to 14

84.1

Combining Work and School (%)

7 to 14

5.0

Primary Completion Rate (%)

 

98.9

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2011, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(27)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis of statistics from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 3, 2006.(28)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children’s work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children’s Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Cultivating and harvesting cotton† (1-23)

Cultivating silk cocoons (4, 24-26)

Services

Street vending and street begging (18, 29, 30)

Collecting scrap metal (20, 31-34)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (19, 35)

Forced labor in cultivating and harvesting cotton (3-5, 9, 10, 12-20, 36-42)

Forced labor in collecting scrap metal (20, 31-34, 43, 44)

Forced labor in cultivation of silk cocoons (4, 24-26)

† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

The ILO-led Third Party Monitoring (TPM) exercise and the Government-led monitoring found no evidence of forced child labor in the cotton harvest.(45, 46) However, independent observers of the harvest in 2016 reported incidents of children forcibly mobilized to pick cotton.(23) In addition, the TPM noted that staff of educational institutions, as well as students from lyceums, colleges, and universities, were at high risk of mobilization for forced labor in the cotton harvest.(45)

While there was no evidence of a centrally-coordinated forced mobilization of children, observers reported witnessing more cases of children forcibly mobilized by their schools in 2016 compared to the previous year.(23) Organized local mobilization of rural schoolchildren by school officials was also reported in several districts of Kashkadarya and Karakalpakstan.(23) In addition, an unknown number of 17-year-old students were included in class-wide mobilizations of third-course college and lyceum students, who tend to be 18 years old, but can also include some 17-year-olds.(23, 47) Further, the mobilization of teachers interrupted class schedules and created larger class sizes, negatively impacting the quality of education and leaving children whose school attendance was interrupted more vulnerable to participation in the cotton harvest.(23, 47) The Uzbek-German Forum continued to report harassment by local officials of human rights activists and foreign journalists attempting to monitor the cotton harvest in 2016.(23, 48)

Limited evidence suggests that government-imposed quotas also contribute to forced child labor in the cultivation of silk cocoons and the collection of scrap metal.(4, 24-26, 31-34, 43, 44)

Uzbekistan has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

 

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Uzbekistan’s legal framework to adequately protect children from child labor.

Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor

Standard

Meets International Standards: Yes/No

Age

Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

16

Article 77 of the Labor Code; Article 20 of the Law on the Guarantees of the Rights of the Child; Article 49-1 of the Administrative Code (49-52)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 241 and 245 of the Labor Code (51)

Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children

Yes

 

Decree on Adoption of the List of Occupations with Unfavorable Working Conditions to Which It Is Forbidden to Employ Persons Under Eighteen Years of Age; Decree on Approval of Provision on Requirements on Prohibition of Use of Minors’ Labor (53, 54)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 37 of the Constitution; Article 7 of the Labor Code; Article 51 of the Administrative Code; Articles 135 and 138 of the Criminal Code (50-52, 55-58)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Article 14 of the Law on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child; Article 135 of the Criminal Code (50, 58)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

No

 

Article 10 of the Law on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child; Articles 130 and 135 of the Criminal Code (50, 58)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Article 10 of the Law on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child; Articles 127, 270, 273, and 276 of the Criminal Code (50, 58)

Minimum Age for Military Recruitment

 

 

 

State Compulsory

Yes

18

Articles 4 and 46 of the Law on Universal Military Service (59, 60)

State Voluntary

Yes

18

Article 24 of the Law on Universal Military Service (60)

Non-state Compulsory

No

 

 

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

18‡

Article 3 of the Law on Education (61)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 4 of the Law on Education; Article 41 of the Constitution (55, 61)

‡ Age calculated based on available information(61)

During the reporting period, there were some changes to the legal framework. In September 2016, Uzbekistan amended the Law on Labor Protection to more clearly incorporate international standards into the labor protection system and define the role of the government, employers, workers, and workers’ organizations in monitoring working conditions.(47, 62, 63) In October 2016, a Presidential Decree was issued prohibiting unannounced inspections targeted at improving the business climate by eliminating regulatory burdens on small and private businesses. However, the decree imposed a ban on unannounced labor inspections of all private enterprise.(64) This provision is scheduled to enter into force in 2017.(47, 64)

The Law on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child requires that the State protect children from involvement in prostitution; however, the law does not criminally prohibit the use, procurement, or offering of children in prostitution.(50, 52, 58)

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5). However, gaps in labor law enforcement remain and some enforcement information is not available.

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Labor

Conduct labor inspections, including inspections for compliance with child labor laws.(65)

Ministry of Interior Office for Combating Trafficking

Investigate crimes related to child trafficking, which may then be prosecuted by the Prosecutor General’s Office.(66)

Prosecutor General’s Office

Prosecute criminal violations involving the worst forms of child labor, including human trafficking, forced labor, and commercial sexual exploitation.(66)

Ministry of Public Education, Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, and Center for Secondary and Vocational Education

Monitor elementary through secondary school students to prevent forced child labor, including in the production of cotton. Monitor employment of all graduates of all educational institutions for two years after graduation.(67, 68)

Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan

Monitor school attendance through the academic year, especially during the cotton harvest. A total of 14 regional and 194 district branches of the Women’s Committee are involved in monitoring school attendance.(67)

Ministry of Labor Human Trafficking Hotlines

Receive reports of incidents of human trafficking and refer reports to the relevant agencies.(69)

Feedback Mechanism

Receive complaints on the violation of workers’ rights and labor laws through two telephone hotlines: one Ministry of Labor hotline that refers cases to the Labor Inspectorate and the Prosecutor General’s Office, and one Federation of Trade Unions hotline that focuses on mediation of individual workers’ rights complaints.(17)

 

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2016, labor law enforcement agencies in Uzbekistan took action to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2015

2016

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown (17)

Unknown (17)

Number of Labor Inspectors

439 (70)

328 (71)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Yes (70)

Yes (70)

Training for Labor Inspectors

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

Unknown

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

N/A

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (70)

Yes (71)

Number of Labor Inspections

Unknown (17)

Unknown

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown (17)

498 (71)

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

Unknown (17)

Unknown

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown (17)

13 (47)

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

7 (72)

Unknown

Number of Penalties Imposed That Were Collected

Unknown

Unknown

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

Routine Inspections Targeted

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

 

During the reporting period, both the ILO-led TPM and the Government-supported Coordination Council conducted monitoring of the cotton harvest.(46) The coverage of national monitoring expanded from 3 provinces in 2015 to all 13 provinces in 2016. Five minors were identified in cotton fields; however, no evidence of systematic use of child labor was detected.(71) The TPM adapted its methodology in 2016 to include a pre-harvest monitoring phase that assessed whether ministries, schools, and medical facilities responsible for recruiting cotton pickers were taking appropriate measures to prevent the use of child and forced labor. The TPM report noted that recordkeeping on the implementation of these measures was inconsistent, especially in rural areas, and that regular auditing of records would be required to ensure preventive measures were being properly implemented.(45) The TPM report also noted that many respondents appeared to have been coached on how to answer monitors.(45) Independent observers commented that the presence of Government-affiliated Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan (FTUU) officials on monitoring teams intimidated respondents and made them unwilling to speak openly with monitors.(23)

Differences between TPM and government monitoring results and reporting by independent observers suggest deficiencies in the current monitoring and enforcement system, including insufficient investigation, identification, and punishment of labor violations in the cotton sector. Among the independently reported violations are incidents of mobilization of entire classes of schoolchildren and the possible involvement of local or regional government authorities in such mobilization.(23, 45) The Government of Uzbekistan issued administrative penalties, such as fines or written admonishments, to 15 local administrators of educational and healthcare institutions and farming enterprises involved in mobilizing adult forced labor in 2016.(73) However, research did not find any cases in which local government officials responsible for enforcing quotas at the regional, district, or town level received fines for their involvement in the mobilization of children or adults in the cotton harvest.

Both the Ministry of Labor and the FTUU continued to operate separate Feedback Mechanism (FBM) hotlines during the 2016 harvest. Notable improvements to the FBM’s functioning in 2016 include the introduction of anonymous complaints to the FTUU’s hotline, the addition of an appeals process, and the introduction of year-round operation.(45, 73) Observers agree that increased public confidence in the FBM is needed for the mechanism to function effectively. While the use of the hotlines increased in 2016, reports of reprisals against individuals who made complaints via the FBM hotlines about forced labor continued in 2016.(23, 45)

In February 2016, the President signed a resolution mandating that each region have a dedicated labor inspector, an improvement on the previous standard of one inspector for every two regions, which left rural areas underserved.(73) However, the number of labor inspectors is insufficient for the size of Uzbekistan’s workforce, which includes over 17.8 million workers. According to the ILO’s recommendation of 1 inspector for every 20,000 workers in transitioning economies, Uzbekistan’s labor inspectorate should employ roughly 890 inspectors.(74-76)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2016, criminal law enforcement agencies in Uzbekistan took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 7).

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2015

2016

Training for Investigators

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Yes (68)

Yes (68)

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

N/A

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (72)

Yes (73)

Number of Investigations

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Violations Found

54 (72)

12 (73)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Convictions

Unknown

Unknown

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (17)

Yes (17)

During the reporting period, 50 Ministry of Interior officers and investigators received training on measures for preventing human trafficking.(73)

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Key Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

Coordination Council on Child Labor Issues (Coordination Council)

Coordinate efforts to address child labor issues, including monitoring of the cotton harvest; chaired by the Federation of Trade Unions.(71, 73) In 2016, the Coordination Council led child labor monitoring activities throughout Uzbekistan and collaborated with the ILO and the World Bank to host capacity-building seminars for government ministries, regional government authorities, and farmers on the implementation of national and international labor standards.(45, 47, 71)

Interagency Working Group

Coordinate efforts to address labor rights issues, including child labor.(65, 77, 78) Report to the ILO on the Government’s implementation of ratified conventions and its efforts to prevent forced labor and protect working minors. Headed by the Ministry of Labor.(77-80)

National Interagency Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Oversee efforts to combat human trafficking, including by improving interagency cooperation, raising public awareness, and drafting legislation.(72) Chaired by the Prosecutor General.(66) In 2016, actively coordinated with local NGO partners to conduct public awareness campaigns.(73)

Local interagency committees

Monitor human trafficking at the provincial, regional, and municipal levels.(66)

 

In August 2016, the Ministry of Labor and the FTUU issued a joint letter to the seats of regional government, or hokimiyats, emphasizing the importance of preventing the use of child and forced labor in the harvest.(73) According to the TPM report, child labor has become broadly socially unacceptable. However, despite formal directives and awareness-raising efforts, national prohibitions on child labor continued to be implemented inconsistently at the local level.(23) This suggests the need for improved coordination between the national, regional, and district governments to ensure that local governments are committed to implementing the laws and policies prohibiting child labor in cotton production and other sectors and that appropriate remediation action is taken when they do not.

The Government has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).

Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

Memorandum of Understanding Between the ILO and the Republic of Uzbekistan (2014–2016)

Establishes terms of agreement between the ILO and the Government on cooperation to implement the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan from 2014–2016.(81) This agreement represents an important step toward implementation of recommendations of the ILO supervisory bodies, including utilizing ILO technical assistance and continuing to work with the ILO or other credible third parties to observe cotton harvests.(36, 82)

National Action Plan for the Application of ILO Conventions

Establishes a framework for implementing ILO Conventions 138 and 182 by coordinating the activities of ministries, departments, and local government authorities.(17, 83) Prescribed activities include the annual monitoring of the cotton harvest, which took place during the reporting period.(71, 83)

Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 132 on Additional Measures to Ensure the Implementation of ILO Conventions (2014–2016)

Establishes actions and efforts to be taken to address the worst forms of child labor and forced labor. Outlines additional activities to be implemented in 2014–2016 in response to ILO convention requirements, including awareness-raising, monitoring of the cotton harvest, legal reform, data collection, and activities on the worst forms of child labor targeting government ministries, international organizations, students, trade unions, and employers.(84) Ministry of Labor is charged with implementation.(68)

Action Plan on Improving Working Conditions, Employment, and Social Protection of Workers in Agriculture (2016–2018)†

Demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving conditions for hiring of workers in agriculture; strengthening the Feedback Mechanism (FBM) and national monitoring to prevent child and forced labor; increasing provision of information and guidance in order to advance decent work; increasing mechanization of agriculture; and improving social protection of workers in agriculture.(85-87)

Cabinet of Ministers Order 909F

Outlines steps to ensure decent working conditions in Uzbekistan, including by preventing child and forced labor. The order lays out the Government’s intentions to improve monitoring and feedback mechanisms, as well as to continue working with the ILO and World Bank to develop information materials and conduct public awareness campaigns about child and forced labor.(17)

National Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons (2015–2016)

Includes activities to conduct public awareness-raising, assist and protect victims, and strengthen the capacity of government agencies and NGOs working on human trafficking issues.(72)

† Policy was approved during the reporting period.

In 2016, the national government maintained cotton production policies that mandate harvest quotas and set crop prices at levels that offer strong incentives for local administrators to mobilize forced labor, which in turn creates an ongoing risk that children may be mobilized for forced child labor.(23, 73)

The Government has not included child labor elimination and prevention strategies into the Education Sector Plan (2013–2017).(88)

In 2016, the Government funded and participated in programs that included the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).

Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Support for the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan

$6 million USDOL-funded project awarded in December 2014 to the ILO to enhance the capacity of the Government and workers’ and employers’ representatives to prevent and reduce child and forced labor, and to promote decent work in Uzbekistan.(89, 90) In 2016, the project prepared training materials for monitoring child labor and forced labor in the cotton harvest. It also delivered training courses, seminars, and technical advice on collective bargaining and core labor conventions, facilitating Uzbekistan’s ratification of ILO Convention 87 Concerning Freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organize.(91, 92)

Efforts to Prevent Child Labor in the Cotton Harvest†

Government-led initiatives to prevent the involvement of children in the cotton harvest include the provision of extracurricular activities for students who might otherwise participate in the harvest after school, and efforts to raise awareness about the prohibition of child labor in the harvest.(71)  In 2016, 44,500 posters including information on the prohibition of child labor and the FBM hotlines were distributed to educational institutions, and 100,000 flyers were disseminated among farmers and employers. Awareness-raising videos on the FBMs were also prepared and received air time on national television.(71)

Global Partnership for Education

Multilateral initiative to coordinate the efforts of developing countries, donors, international organizations, teachers, NGOs, and the private sector to secure universal access to quality education in developing countries.(93, 94)

School Assistance†

Ministry of Public Education program that provides winter clothes and other educational resources to needy families to support their school attendance.(17, 95)

Family Support Assistance†

Government of Uzbekistan program that provides an allowance to low-income families to be paid if their children continue their education up to age 18.(17, 95)

Child Protection Assistance

UNICEF program that engages with the Government of Uzbekistan to support the development of a national child protection system that will prevent and respond to children who are at risk of or have been subject to child abuse, exploitation, and violence.(96)

Child Rights Monitoring

UNICEF program partners with local and regional governments, NGOs, and civil service training institutions to strengthen Uzbekistan’s application and monitoring of obligations under the UN CRC.(97)

National Rehabilitation Center†

Ministry of Labor-operated shelter that provides human trafficking victims with emergency medical and social services and assists in social rehabilitation. In 2016, the shelter served 400 individuals, including 17 minors.(71)

Human Trafficking is a Modern Issue†

National Interagency Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons-led program, which carried out more than 61,500 awareness-raising activities that reached 4.1 million citizens, including 1 million children.(72, 98)

† Program is funded by the Government of Uzbekistan.
‡ The Government had other social programs that may have included the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms.(46, 47)

The Government has implemented programs to combat child labor in the cotton harvest and to address human trafficking. Despite these efforts, forced labor issues persist in Uzbekistan.(99)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Uzbekistan (Table 11).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Criminally prohibit the use, procurement, and offering of a child for prostitution.

2015 – 2016

Ensure that the law criminally prohibits the recruitment of children under 18 by non-state armed groups.

2016

Enforcement

Ensure that monitoring is independent, including by creating conditions such that respondents can participate without fear of reprisal and by holding accountable officials who coach or provide answers to local officials or workers involved in the cotton harvest.

2016

Allow independent observers unrestricted access to monitor child labor during the cotton harvest through unannounced site visits, and punish officials who threaten or detain observers in order to suppress information about labor violations.

2014 – 2016

Publish information about the Labor Inspectorate’s funding, training for inspectors, number and type of inspections conducted, number of child labor violations found, and number of penalties collected.

2015 – 2016

Establish a process to regularly assess institutional measures to prevent child and forced labor to ensure consistent implementation, including in rural areas.

2016

Take steps to build public trust in the Feedback Mechanisms and other mechanisms for receiving child labor complaints, especially by ensuring individuals who make use of these mechanisms do not experience retaliation.

2015 – 2016

Increase the number of labor inspectors responsible for enforcing laws related to child labor in order to provide adequate coverage of the workforce.

2015 – 2016

Ensure unannounced inspections are permitted in all sectors, to ensure the inspection system is not weakened.

2016

Ensure that the cotton harvest monitoring and enforcement system is comprehensive, investigates worker complaints and third-party reports of school closings and child labor, and applies penalties against responsible individuals, including local or regional government authorities (such as hokim or town mayors), who are involved in the mobilization of children.

2012 – 2016

Publish disaggregated information on investigations, prosecutions, and convictions related to the worst forms of child labor and trafficking of children.

2011 – 2016

Coordination

Increase coordination efforts directed at regional and district governments to ensure local governments are both aware of and committed to implementing the laws and policies prohibiting child labor in cotton production and other sectors, and ensure that appropriate remediation action is taken when they do not.

2015 – 2016

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into the Education Sector Plan.

2014 – 2016

Ensure that the participation of teachers in the cotton harvest is voluntary and does not negatively impact education quality during the harvest or increase the vulnerability of students to participation in the harvest.

2015 – 2016

Revise policies that mandate cotton harvest quotas and set purchase prices below market value to help prevent forced involvement of children under age 18 in the cotton harvest.

2012 – 2016

Strengthen recordkeeping in educational institutions and maintain up-to-date records of cotton workers’ ages to ensure students under age 18 are not engaged in the harvest.

2013 – 2016

Social Programs

Conduct research to determine the prevalence of child labor, including the nature and extent of children’s involvement in silk cocoon cultivation and scrap metal collection.

2013 – 2016

Expand programs to address the worst forms of child labor, with a particular focus on child trafficking and children involved in cotton production.

2009 – 2016

1.         ILO. ILO High Level Mission Report on the Monitoring of Child Labor. Geneva; December 2013.

2.         Uznews.net. "Uzbek Schoolchildren Forced to Weed Cotton Fields." uznews.net [source on file] May 16, 2013 [cited March 10, 2014].

3.         Jong Chul Kim, Sejin Kim, and Il Lee. 2013 Field Investigation Report: Uzbekistan Seoul, Advocates for Public Interest Law; December 13, 2013. http://www.apil.or.kr/attachment/cfile7.uf@2137684452AAA61E0A2FE4.docx.

4.         Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Human Rights Due Diligence and World Bank Funding in Uzbekistan's Agricultural Sector. June 2014. http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/UGF-World-Bank-Loans-to-Uzbekistan.pdf.

5.         Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Preliminary Report on Forced Labor During Uzbekistan's 2014 Cotton Harvest. November 7, 2014.

6.         Rahmatullayev, T. "Cotton Campaign Chronicle in Uzbekistan: The issue of involving children in cotton picking remains unresolved." Central Asia News.

7.         IWPR. "Child Labour Persists in Uzbek Cotton Industry." Turkish Weekly, Ankara, September 24, 2011. http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/124002/child-labour-persists-in-uzbek-cotton-industry.html.

8.         Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Chronicle of Forced Labor of Children and Adults: Issue 1. Berlin; June 5, 2013. http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/1-Cotton-Chronicle-20131.pdf.

9.         Ferghana Information Agency. "Uzbekistan: Human Rights Defenders Say Forced Child Labor is Being Used in the Cotton Harvest." fergananews.com [online] October 1, 2015 [cited October 6, 2015]; http://www.fergananews.com/news.php?id=23956.

10.       Ozodlik. "Uzbek authorities demand a threefold increase in cotton harvesters on weekends." ozodlik.org [online] October 5, 2015 [cited January 5, 2015]; http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/27288043.html.

11.       Ozodlik. "In a region of Uzbekistan that does not specialize in cotton production 60kg is demanded from every harvest worker daily." Ozodlik.org [online] September 14, 2015 [cited January 5, 2016]; http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/27246510.html.

12.       Ozodlik. "In Uzbekistan, Underage Children are Once Again Being Sent to the Cotton Fields." Ozodlik.org [online] September 3, 2015 [cited December 7, 2015]; http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/27224618.html.

13.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, October 19, 2015.

14.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, October 5, 2015.

15.       Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. "Uzbek Government Continued Forced Labor System to Weed Cotton Fields." uzbekgermanforum.org [online] June 1, 2015 [cited January 5, 2016]; http://uzbekgermanforum.org/uzbek-government-continues-forced-labor-system-to-weed-cotton-fields/.

16.       Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Cotton Chronicle Issue 6; October 6, 2015. http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/UGF_Cotton-Chronicle_Issue-6_14.10.2015.pdf.

17.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, January 13, 2016.

18.       U.S. Department of State. "Uzbekistan," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2014. Washington, DC; June 25, 2015; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/236868.pdf.

19.       U.S. Department of State. "Uzbekistan," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015. Washington, D.C.; July 27, 2015; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2015/243561.htm.

20.       Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. The Cover-up: Whitewashing Uzbekistan's White Gold. March 2016. http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Cotton-Report-2015.pdf.

21.       Human Rights Activists in Uzbekistan. Interview with Official U. March 28, 2016.

22.       Uzbek-German Forum Researcher. Interview with Official U. April 2,, 2016.

23.       Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Forced Labor in Uzbekistan's Cotton Sector: Preliminary Findings from the 2016 Harvest; December 2016.

24.       Ferghana Information Agency. "The Great Silk Road, or a Second Slavery for Uzbek Farmers." fergananews.com [online] December 31, 2013 [cited October 23, 2015]; http://www.fergananews.com/articles/7998.

25.       Farangis Najibullah, and Sadriddin Ashurov. "Uzbeks Toil To Keep Silk Industry's Traditions Alive." rferl.org [online] March 12, 2013 [cited January 2, 2014]; http://www.rferl.org/content/uzbekistan-silk-industry/24926469.html.

26.       Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Silk Loop for Uzbek Farmers; September 12, 2015. http://uzbekgermanforum.org/report-silk-loop-for-uzbek-farmers/

27.       UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). [accessed December 16, 2016]; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary education. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. The calculation includes all new entrants to the last grade (regardless of age). Therefore, the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

28.       UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from MICS3 Survey, 2006. Analysis received December 15, 2016. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information, please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

29.       UNCRC. Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Uzbekistan, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-third session (27 May-14 June 2013). Geneva; July 10, 2013. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/co/CRC-C-UZB-CO-3-4.pdf.

30.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning ILO Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Uzbekistan (ratification: 2008) Published: 2015; accessed January 5, 2016; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3188557:NO.

31.       Ozodlik. "In Uzbekistan, students who don't turn in scrap metal are threatened with expulsion." Ozodlik.org [online] October 1, 2015 [cited October 26, 2015]; http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/26785683.html.

32.       Ozodlik. "Students in Uzbekistan are locked up for not turning in scrap metal." Ozodlik.org [online] February 25, 2015 [cited October 26, 2015]; http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/26867626.html.

33.       Institute for War and Peace Reporting. "Uzbek Children Forced to Collect Scrap Metal." iwpr.org [online] March 25, 2011 2015 [cited October 26, 2015]; https://iwpr.net/global-voices/uzbek-children-forced-collect-scrap-metal.

34.       Sadriddin Ahurov, and Farruh Yusupov. "Out Of The Uzbek Cotton Fields, On To The Scrap Yard." rferl.org [online] February 16, 2015 [cited October 26, 2015]; http://www.rferl.org/content/uzbekcottonpickingscrapyard/26852654.html.

35.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, February 16, 2016.

36.       ILO Committee of Experts. "Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations," in International Labour Conference, 101st Session 2012; Geneva; http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_174843.pdf.

37.       Human Rights Watch. Uzbekistan: Forced Labor Widespread in Cotton Harvest, Human Rights Watch, [online] January 26, 2013 [cited January 16, 2014]; http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/25/uzbekistan-forced-labor-widespread-cotton-harvest.

38.       Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, Cotton Campaign. Review of the 2012 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan. Berlin; December 20, 2012. http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Review2012_CottonHarvestUzbekistan.pdf.

39.       Responsible Sourcing Network. From the Field: Travels of Uzbek Cotton through the Value Chain. Oakland; 2012. http://www.sourcingnetwork.org/storage/FromTheFieldReport.pdf.

40.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Uzbekistan (ratification: 2008) Published: 2012; accessed March 10, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

41.       New York Times. "In Uzbekistan, the Practice of Forced Labor Lives on During the Cotton Harvest." New York, December 17, 2013. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/world/asia/forced-labor-lives-on-in-uzbekistans-cotton-fields.html?from=world.

42.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, February 14, 2014.

43.       Ozodlik. "Parents Purchase Scrap Metal to Save their Children from Humiliation in School." Ozodlik.org [online] February 11, 2016 [cited January 5, 2017]; http://rus.ozodlik.org/a/27544509.html.

44.       Ozodlik. "Uzbek Students Dig in the Trash and Walk the Gutters in Search of Scrap Metal." Ozodlik.org [online] October 24, 2016 [cited January 5, 2017]; http://rus.ozodlik.org/a/28070485.html.

45.       ILO. Third Party Monitoring of measures against child labour and forced labour during the 2016 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan. Geneva; January 2017. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---ipec/documents/publication/wcms_543130.pdf.

46.       Government of Uzbekistan. ILO Cooperation and Measures of Uzbekistan 2016; 2017.

47.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, January 13, 2017.

48.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, September 28, 2016.

49.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. ZRU-239 to amend the Labour Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Law on Child's Rights Guarantees, UZB-2009-L-85547, enacted 2009. http://www.oit.org/dyn/natlex/natlex_browse.details?p_lang=en&p_isn=85547.

50.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. ZRU-139 on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child, UZB-2008-L-85548, enacted 2008. http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex_browse.details?p_lang=en&p_isn=85548.

51.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. ZRU-365 Labor Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, enacted 1996. http://fmc.uz/legisl.php?id=k_trud.

52.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. 2015-XII Administrative Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, enacted 1994. http://fmc.uz/legisl.php?id=k_adm.

53.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Decree on Approval of Provision on Requirements on Prohibition of Use of Minors' Labor, enacted 2010.

54.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Decree on Adoption of the List of Occupations with Unfavorable Working Conditions to which it is forbidden to Employ Persons under Eighteen Years of Age, enacted 2009.

55.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, enacted 1992. http://gov.uz/en/constitution/.

56.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Uzbekistan (ratification: 2008) Published: 2011; accessed January 3, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

57.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. On Measures Undertaken to Implement Conventions on Forced Labour. 2014.

58.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, enacted 1994. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,NATLEGBOD,,UZB,3ae6b59216,0.html.

59.       Child Soldiers International. Louder than words: An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers. London; 2012. http://www.child-soldiers.org/user_uploads/pdf/louderthanwordsseptember20124903558.pdf.

60.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law on Universal Military Service, enacted 2002. http://lex.uz/pages/getpage.aspx?lact_id=78721.

61.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law on Education, enacted 1997. http://www.lex.uz/pages/GetAct.aspx?lact_id=15622.

62.       Government of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan signs Law "On Labor Protection" in new edition, [online] [cited March 18, 2016]; http://uzbekistan.org/newsite/post/7f7469b3/uzbekistan-signs-law-%22on-labor-protection%22-in-new-edition.

63.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law on Labor Protection, enacted 1993. http://www.lex.uz/pages/getpage.aspx?lact_id=3031429.

64.       President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Decree on Aditional Measures to ensure the Rapid Development of Business, Protection of Private Property, and the Qualitative Improvement of the Business Climate, enacted October 5, 2016. http://lex.uz/pages/getpage.aspx?lact_id=3039313.

65.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, January 31, 2013.

66.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, February 15, 2013.

67.       Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan official. Written communication to U.S. Department of State official. February 17, 2014.

68.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, January 15, 2015.

69.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Information on anti-TIP efforts carried out in Uzbekistan in 2014. 2015.

70.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, March 2, 2016.

71.       Government of Uzbekistan. Response to TDA Questionnaire; January 25, 2017.

72.       Government of Uzbekistan. Response to TIP Questionnaire; 2016.

73.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, February 13, 2017.

74.       CIA. The World Factbook, [online] [cited March 18, 2017]; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2095.html#131. Data provided is the most recent estimate of the country’s total labor force. This number is used to calculate a “sufficient number” of labor inspectors based on the country’s level of development as determined by the UN.

75.       ILO. Strategies and Practice for Labour Inspection. Geneva, Committee on Employment and Social Policy; November 2006. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/gb/docs/gb297/pdf/esp-3.pdf. Article 10 of ILO Convention No. 81 calls for a “sufficient number” of inspectors to do the work required. As each country assigns different priorities of enforcement to its inspectors, there is no official definition for a “sufficient” number of inspectors. Amongst the factors that need to be taken into account are the number and size of establishments and the total size of the workforce. No single measure is sufficient but in many countries the available data sources are weak. The number of inspectors per worker is currently the only internationally comparable indicator available. In its policy and technical advisory services, the ILO has taken as reasonable benchmarks that the number of labor inspectors in relation to workers should approach: 1/10,000 in industrial market economies; 1/15,000 in industrializing economies; 1/20,000 in transition economies; and 1/40,000 in less developed countries.

76.       UN. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012 Statistical Annex. New York; 2012. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/wesp_current/2012country_class.pdf. For analytical purposes, the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UN/DESA) classifies all countries of the world into one of three broad categories: developed economies, economies in transition, and developing countries. The composition of these groupings is intended to reflect basic economic country conditions. Several countries (in particular the economies in transition) have characteristics that could place them in more than one category; however, for purposes of analysis, the groupings have been made mutually exclusive. The list of the least developed countries is decided upon by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and, ultimately, by the General Assembly, on the basis of recommendations made by the Committee for Development Policy. The basic criteria for inclusion require that certain thresholds be met with regard to per capita GNI, a human assets index and an economic vulnerability index. For the purposes of the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor Report, “developed economies” equate to the ILO’s classification of “industrial market economies; “economies in transition” to “transition economies,” “developing countries” to “industrializing economies, and “the least developed countries” equates to “less developed countries.” For countries that appear on both “developing countries” and “least developed countries” lists, they will be considered “least developed countries” for the purpose of calculating a “sufficient number” of labor inspectors.

77.       ILO Committee of Experts. Examination of Individual Case concerning Convention No. 182: Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 Uzbekistan (ratification: 2008) Published: 2011; accessed June 23, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:2556592.

78.       Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan- Washington official. Written communication to U.S. Department of State official. April 13, 2011.

79.       U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. reporting, January 4, 2012.

80.       Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan official. Written communication to U.S. Department of State official. March 12, 2013.

81.       ILO and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Memorandum of Understanding. 2014. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/program/dwcp/download/uzbekistan.pdf.

82.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Uzbekistan (ratification: 2008) Published: 2013; accessed January 14, 2014; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

83.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. National Action Plan for the Application of ILO Conventions, enacted May 27, 2014. http://www.fbm.uz/ru/lex/national/.

84.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 137 of 27 May 2014 on Additional Measures to Ensure the Implementation of Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Ratified by the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Period of 2014-2016. 2014.

85.       ILO. Third Party Monitoring of the use of child labour and forced labour during the Uzekistan 2015 Cotton Harvest. Geneva; November 20, 2015. http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/pubdocs/publicdoc/2015/11/307241448038866033/Uzbek-2015-TPM-Report-20112015.pdf.

86.       Government of Uzbekistan. Cooperation with the ILO and World Bank on Eliminating Forced and Child Labor, FBM.uz, [Online] January 15, 2016 [cited Februray 24, 2016]; http://www.fbm.uz/ru/pages/news/354/.

87.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Government Action Plan on for improving labor conditions, employment and social protection of workers in agricultural sector in 2016-2018, enacted January 7, 2016. http://www.fbm.uz/en/lex/convention/.

88.       Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Education Sector Plan 2013 - 2017. Tashkent; 2013. http://www.globalpartnership.org/content/uzbekistan-education-sector-plan-2013-2017.

89.       U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Child Labor, FLaHT. Notice of Intent to Fund the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan. 2014.

90.       Coordination Council for the Problems of Child Labor in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Minutes No. 5 About the Results of the National Monitoring of Child Labour in Cotton Harvest in 2014 and the Recommendations for the Governmental Authorities, Ministries, Agencies and Civil Society Institutes. Tashkent,  November 3, 2014.

91.       ILO. Uzbekistan ratifies the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948, [online] [cited April 10, 2017]; http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/information-resources-and-publications/news/WCMS_538322/lang--en/index.htm.

92.       ILO. Training on Eradication of Child Labour and Forced Labour in Tashkent, [online] [cited April 10, 2017]; http://www.ilo.org/moscow/news/WCMS_480977/lang--en/index.htm.

93.       Global Partnership for Education. Global Partnership for Education: Uzbekistan, [online] [cited January 14, 2015 http://www.globalpartnership.org/country/uzbekistan.

94.       Global Partnership for Education. Global Partnership for Education: About GPE, [online] [cited January 14, 2015]; http://www.globalpartnership.org/about-GPE.

95.       Asian Development Bank. Republic of Uzbekistan: Updating and Improving the Social Protection Index. Manila; August 2012. http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/projdocs/2013/44152-012-reg-tacr-29.pdf [source on file].

96.       UNICEF. UNICEF Uzbekistan: Child Protection: Social Work, [online] [cited January 14, 2015]; http://unicef.uz/en/programmes/child-protection/social-work.

97.       UNICEF. UNICEF Uzbekistan: Social Policy: Child Rights Monitoring, [cited January 14, 2015]; http://unicef.uz/en/programmes/social-policy/child-rights-monitoring.

98.       Ministry of Interior Office for Combating Trafficking in Persons Officials. Interview with Official U. April 1, 2016.

99.       Government of Ukraine. Criminal Code of Ukraine, enacted 2001. http://www.legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes.

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