Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Uzbekistan

Cotton
Cotton
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Silk Cocoons
Silk Cocoons
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Uzbekistan
2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2018, Uzbekistan made moderate efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government took active measures to prevent the use of forced child labor in the cotton harvest, including by issuing temporary regulations for labor conditions in organized cotton picking, reiterating the legal bans on using forced labor or child labor, raising the price paid to farmers for cotton and the wages paid to pickers, and sanctioning 169 officials for using forced labor. However, children in Uzbekistan still engage in the worst forms of child labor, including forced labor in scrap metal collection. Laws prohibiting the commercial sexual exploitation of children do not meet international standards. The government also did not disaggregate criminal law enforcement data for forced labor cases to clarify which cases, if any, involved the worst forms of child labor. In addition, there are gaps in labor law enforcement, such as the decision by the government-sponsored Coordination Council on Child Labor and Forced Labor not to conduct its own harvest monitoring and an insufficient number of labor inspectors to cover the workforce adequately.

Children in Uzbekistan engage in the worst forms of child labor, including forced labor in scrap metal collection. (1-4) ILO monitoring found only isolated cases of child labor in cotton production in 2018. (5) Uzbekistan has not carried out a national child labor survey to determine the prevalence of child labor in sectors other than cotton production. (6) 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 (%)

 

97.7

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2017, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2019. (7)

Source for all other data: International Labor Organization's analysis of statistics from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 3, 2006. (8)

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 silk cocoons (9,10)

Services

Street work, including vending, car washing, and begging (6,11,12)

Collecting scrap metal (1,2,6,13,14)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (6,15,16)

Forced labor in collecting scrap metal (1-4,13,14,17)

Forced labor in cultivating silk cocoons (9,10,17,18)

Forced labor in construction, non-cotton agriculture, and cleaning parks, streets, and buildings (17-19)

‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

Traffickers exploit Uzbek children in sex trafficking transnationally, and also internally in brothels, clubs, and private residences. Children in institutions are vulnerable to sex trafficking. (18) During the reporting period, the government identified 14 children who had been victimized in sex trafficking. (6)

Cotton production in Uzbekistan is governed by a quota system, which holds regional and local government officials responsible for mobilizing sufficient labor to meet established production targets. (20) In 2018, the quota system continued to impose pressure on regional and local government officials to meet production targets, and observers reported that this system is a root cause of forced labor, which may have created an ongoing risk of child labor. (21-23)

While forced child labor in cotton production was not reported in 2018, the ILO Third-Party Monitoring (TPM) project found 20 isolated cases of children under age 18 who worked with family members hired for the cotton weeding season, and the TPM identified children present with their parents in the fields during both the weeding and harvesting seasons, although they were not necessarily working. (5,24,25) Harvest observers generally agreed that, for the most part, teachers were not mobilized, although independent monitors and news outlets reported cases that emerged after the first pass of the harvest (cotton is collected up to three times or "passes" during each season) and were linked to institutional quotas. (5,18,26) Independent monitors also received a report that parents of children at one school were required to bring cotton to school to help meet the school's quota; it is unknown whether the children picked the cotton themselves. (27) Although such practices do not establish a systemic child labor problem, they indicate continuing risks of child labor. (5)

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 (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Uzbekistan’s legal framework to adequately protect children from the worst forms of child labor, including commercial sexual exploitation and prohibition of military recruitment by non-state armed groups.

Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor

Standard

Meets International Standards

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 (28-31)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 241 and 245 of the Labor Code (30)

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 (32,33)

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 (29-31,34,35)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Article 14 of the Law on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child; Article 135 of the Criminal Code (29,35)

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 (29,35)

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 (29,35)

Minimum Age for Voluntary State Military Recruitment

Yes

18

Article 24 of the Law on Universal Military Service (36)

Prohibition of Compulsory Recruitment of Children by (State) Military

Yes

 

Articles 4 and 46 of the Law on Universal Military Service (36)

Prohibition of Military Recruitment by Non-state Armed Groups

No

   

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

18‡

Article 3 of the Law on Education (37)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 4 of the Law on Education; Article 41 of the Constitution (34,37)

‡ Age calculated based on available information (37)

Although the Law on Guarantees of the Rights of the Child requires that the State protect children from involvement in prostitution, no law criminally prohibits the use of children in prostitution. (29,31,35) In addition, because the minimum age for work is lower than the age up to which education is compulsory, children may be encouraged to leave school before the completion of compulsory education in order to work. (28-31,37)

The government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor (Table 5). However, gaps exist within the authority of the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MOELR) that may hinder adequate enforcement of their child labor laws.

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MOELR)

Conducts labor inspections, including inspections for compliance with child labor laws. (6,11)

Ministry of Interior Office for Combating Trafficking

Investigates crimes related to child trafficking, which may then be prosecuted by the Prosecutor General’s Office. (6)

Prosecutor General's Office

Prosecutes criminal violations involving the worst forms of child labor, including human trafficking, forced labor, and commercial sexual exploitation. (6)

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

Monitors elementary through secondary school students to prevent forced child labor, including in cotton production, and monitors employment of all graduates of all educational institutions for 2 years after graduation. (38,39)

Youth Union

Monitors school attendance to ensure that students do not miss class during the cotton harvest. (11)

Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan

Monitors school attendance throughout the academic year, especially during the cotton harvest. (38)

Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations Human Trafficking Hotlines

Receive reports of incidents of human trafficking and refer reports to the relevant agencies. (40)

Feedback Mechanisms

Receive complaints on the violation of workers’ rights and labor laws through two telephone hotlines: one MOELR 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 worker's rights complaints. (11,41)

Labor Law Enforcement
In 2018, labor law enforcement agencies in Uzbekistan took actions to combat child labor. (Table 6). However, gaps exist within the authority of the MOELR that may hinder adequate labor law enforcement, including limits on labor inspectors’ ability to initiate unannounced inspections.

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown (42)

Unknown

Number of Labor Inspectors

168 (11)

200 (6)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

Initial Training for New Labor Inspectors

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

 

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

Number of Labor Inspections Conducted

4,141 (42)

4,517 (24)

 

Number Conducted at Worksite

4,141 (42)

4,517 (24)

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

18 (11)

35 (24)

 

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

Unknown (42)

20 (24)

Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that Were Collected

Unknown (42)

20 (24)

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

 

Routine Inspections Targeted

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

No (42)

Yes (43-45)

 

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

No (42)

Unknown

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (42)

Yes (6)

In 2018, the number of labor inspectors at the MOELR increased from 168 to 200. (6) Despite this, the number of labor inspectors is likely insufficient for the size of Uzbekistan’s workforce, which includes more than 17.8 million workers. According to the ILO’s technical advice of a ratio approaching 1 inspector for every 20,000 workers in transitioning economies, Uzbekistan would employ about 890 inspectors. (46-48) Both national and regional labor inspectors received training from the ILO on child and forced labor during the reporting period. (49)

In 2018, the government took several regulatory measures to prohibit the use of child and forced labor in cotton production and some other sectors. For instance, the government issued a formal interpretation of Article 95 of the Labor Code, which allows an employer to temporarily reassign a worker to other duties, clarifying that an employer may not invoke this article to send employees to the cotton harvest. (5) In May 2018 during the spring planting and weeding season, the Cabinet of Ministers also adopted Decree 349 prohibiting public workers and students from being recruited for compulsory labor in seasonal agriculture, scrap metal and waste paper collection, and street beautification projects. (6, 78) In addition, the government established fines for illegally recruiting students and public sectors workers for unpaid work, including work in the agricultural sector. (6) Prior to the harvest, the Cabinet of Ministers approved temporary regulations for organized cotton picking, including recruitment, payments, contracts, awareness raising on the rights and responsibilities of cotton pickers, and reiterating the legal bans on using forced labor and the labor of persons under age 18. (5) Moreover, President Mirziyoyev issued a decree to reinforce previous prohibitions on child and forced labor in the cotton harvest. (6)

Since January 2017, a Presidential Decree prohibiting unscheduled inspections of the private sector has been in effect. Despite this, unannounced inspections continued in the cotton sector during the past 2 years. In August 2018, another decree was issued to allow unscheduled labor inspections throughout the private sector, although it does not permit the MOELR to initiate an unannounced inspection absent a complaint. (24,43-45) In 2018, the government investigated forced labor complaints, including those received from independent observers, and 165 individuals were assessed administrative penalties. (5)

In addition to the MOELR-led inspections, there were three other mechanisms to monitor the cotton harvest in 2018. First, independent human rights activists conducted their own independent monitoring of the cotton harvest and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), a Berlin-based NGO, coordinated the publication of the findings, while others self-published information. (6,50) Second, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) conducted a 3-step assurance review of 105 farms in 2 provinces that participate in the IFC's Sustainable Cotton Supply Chain Development project in Uzbekistan. The review included monitoring by UGF for compliance with Decent Work principles. (51) And third, the ILO conducted TPM of the cotton harvest, using field teams consisting of an ILO monitor, an interpreter, and a human rights activist to observe harvest activities and conduct interviews with participants. Workers were provided contact information for the hotlines and telegram bots operated by the MOELR and the Federation of Trade Unions (FTUU) to obtain information and register complaints. (52)

The ILO TPM mechanism identified no cases of government-mobilized child labor; however, it observed children present with their parents or relatives in 12 of the 252 fields visited during harvest monitoring and noted the risk that families will involve their dependent minors in the picking to earn more income. ATPM project telephone survey of 1,000 adult cotton workers found 20 cases in which the respondent reported that a household member under age 18 had participated in spring 2018 cotton weeding. (5,52) The IFC assurance methodology turned up no cases of child labor, and research found no reports of child labor in 2018 by independent human rights activists and private citizens. (5,25,51,53-56)

In addition to monitoring the cotton harvest, both the MOELR and the FTUU operated separate Feedback Mechanism hotlines during the 2018 harvest, which workers and human rights activists could use to register complaints about child labor, forced labor, and other labor law violations. (6) Between the two hotlines, more than 2,500 complaints were registered with the MOELR during the reporting period, resulting in disciplinary actions against 169 government officials. (5,6) The number of complaints dropped dramatically over 2017, in which 7,339 complaints were made to the MOELR hotline alone. (11) Research did not uncover the cause of this drop and there were no reports of retaliation against complainants. (5)

The government focused its labor law enforcement efforts on child labor in the cotton sector; however, it also identified cases of child labor in khashars, community projects for the improvement of school grounds and nearby areas, and issued penalties when investigation found labor violations. (24)

Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2018, criminal law enforcement agencies in Uzbekistan took actions to combat child labor (Table 7). However, only limited information on the activities of criminal law enforcement authorities was available.

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Initial Training for New Criminal Investigators

Unknown

Unknown

 

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

Unknown

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

Yes (6)

Number of Investigations

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Violations Found

Unknown

14 (6)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Convictions

Unknown

Unknown

Imposed Penalties for Violations Related to The Worst Forms of Child Labor

Unknown

Unknown

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (41)

Yes (6)

In 2018, the government provided trainings to police officers, investigators, prosecutors, and judges on identifying human trafficking victims and investigating human trafficking cases. (6)

During the reporting period, 14 minors were identified as victims of trafficking and referred to a rehabilitation center to receive social services. (6) The government also reported 2006 investigations, 114 prosecutions, and 45 criminal convictions for forced labor, but it did not provide the number of cases, if any, pertaining to children. (6,23)

The government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor (Table 8). However, gaps exist that hinder the effective coordination of efforts to address child labor, including efficacy in accomplishing mandates.

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

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

Coordination Council on Child Labor and Forced Labor (Coordination Council)

Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, coordinates efforts to address child labor issues, including monitoring the cotton harvest. (6,57-59) In 2018, shared responsibility with the Parliamentary Commission on Ensuring the Labor Rights of Citizens for carrying out an intensified public awareness campaign on state policies against forced labor and how to seek redress if labor rights are violated. (5)

Parliamentary Commission on Ensuring Guaranteed Labor Rights of Citizens

Monitors and regularly reports to the Senate on the activities of central and local-level government bodies involved in ensuring the labor rights of citizens, including the prevention of forced labor. Oversees implementation of the ILO Conventions on Decent Work, Child Labor, and Forced Labor. (6,11) In 2018, shared responsibility with the Coordination Council for carrying out an intensified public awareness campaign on state policies against forced labor. (5)

Interagency Working Group

Coordinates efforts to address labor rights issues, including child labor, and reports to ILO on the government's implementation of ratified conventions and its efforts to prevent forced labor and protect working minors. Headed by MOELR. (6) Research was unable to determine whether the working group was active during the reporting period.

National Interagency Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Oversees efforts to combat human trafficking, including by improving interagency cooperation, raising public awareness, and drafting legislation. (6,58) Chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (22) Research was unable to determine whether the commission was active during the reporting period.

The government continued to formally engage human rights activists through consultative meetings, and for the first time, included activists in a meeting of the Coordination Council for Child Labor and Forced Labor. (5,23,60) For the most part, activists and independent monitors were permitted to observe the harvest without interference by the authorities. However, the UGF and Radio Ozodlik reported that there were several incidents in which local government and law enforcement officials detained, harassed, and brought charges against civil society monitors and reporters. (26,61)

In a departure from previous years, the government's Coordination Council did not conduct national monitoring of the cotton harvest, but rather relied on the ILO’s assessments. (6,22,24)

The government has established policies related to child labor (Table 9). However, policy gaps exist that hinder efforts to address child labor, including implementation.

Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

Memorandum of Understanding Between the ILO and the Republic of Uzbekistan (2014–2020)

Establishes terms of agreement between ILO and the government on cooperation to implement the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan. (62) Seeks to use ILO’s assistance and work with ILO or other credible third parties to observe cotton harvests. (63,64) In 2018, the Government of Uzbekistan and ILO continued to work together under this agreement. (5,59)

Senate Resolution on Measures to Ensure Guaranteed Labor Rights to the Citizens of Uzbekistan

Establishes a plan to harmonize national legislation with the requirements of ILO conventions, including through developing relevant organizational structures and national programs, strengthening state and civil society capacity to guarantee the provision of labor rights, and carrying out an information campaign to inform citizens of their rights. (65) In 2018, the government carried out widespread information campaigns to inform the public of labor rights and warn them against forced labor. The government also almost doubled the payment for cotton pickers to encourage voluntary labor recruitment. (24)

National Development Strategy (2017–2021)

Outlines measures for economic liberalization and modernization, including through a decrease in cotton production, an increased focus on the production of finished goods, and a reduction of the state regulation. Includes objectives for poverty reduction, development of education and social protection strategies, capacity building for civil society and the press, and increased efficacy in anti-corruption measures. (42) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.

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. (41,66) Includes activities for the annual monitoring of the cotton harvest; however, national monitoring did not take place during the reporting period. (6) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement other aspects of this policy during the reporting period.

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

Articulated the government’s commitment to improving conditions for hiring of workers in agriculture, strengthening the Feedback Mechanism and national monitoring to prevent child and forced labor, providing additional information and guidance to advance decent work, increasing mechanization of agriculture, and improving social protection for workers in agriculture. (67-69) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.

Cabinet of Ministers Order 909F

Outlines steps to ensure decent working conditions by preventing child and forced labor. Lays out the government’s intentions to improve monitoring and feedback mechanisms, and to continue working with ILO and the World Bank to develop information materials and conduct public awareness campaigns on child and forced labor. (41) In 2018, the government's awareness-raising campaign included advertisements on television and radio; print materials including roadside banners and brochures; and 3 million text messages. The Minister of Employment and Labor Relations hosted press conferences throughout the cotton harvest. (5)

In 2018, the government continued to implement policies aimed at attracting a greater volume of voluntary workers to assist with the cotton harvest. These included raising wages for cotton pickers, raising the price offered to farmers for cotton, and creating a legal and economic framework to spur the creation of private business partnerships called "clusters" along the cotton value chain (from farm to finished products). (5,6) A small number of pilot clusters began operating in the cotton supply chain in 2018; about half of these were financed by foreign direct investment, and were not subject to government quotas or management. (5,6,22) However, the government maintained production policies that mandate harvest quotas, offering strong incentives for local administrators to mobilize forced labor, which in turn creates an ongoing risk that children may be mobilized if local authorities do not adhere to national legislation, including bans on the use of child labor. (50,57) However, there was no evidence of mobilization of children during the 2018 cotton harvest. (5,18,24)

In 2018, the government funded and participated in programs that included the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor (Table 10). However, gaps exist in these social programs, including the adequacy of programs to address the full scope of the problem.

Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Support for the Implementation of the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan (2014–2019)

$6 million USDOL-funded project awarded to ILO to enhance the capacity of the government and workers’ and employers’ representatives to prevent and reduce child and forced labor and promote decent work in Uzbekistan. (71,72) In 2018, the project launched local-level working groups of officials and citizens involved in the recruitment of temporary seasonal agricultural laborers in Jizzakh and Ferghana and provided training on fair recruitment practices. Also developed capacity-building action plans for the Ministries of Education and Health on the prevention and elimination of child labor and forced labor. (49) Additional information is available on the USDOL website.

Efforts to Prevent Child Labor in the Cotton Harvest

Includes initiatives to provide extracurricular activities for students who might otherwise participate in the cotton harvest after school, and raise awareness about the prohibition of child labor in the harvest. (65) This program was active in 2018, holding 10 informational seminars for youth on child labor. (6,24) In addition, MOELR carried out 3,155 events, including seminars, roundtables, publications in newspapers, websites, and radio and television ads, reaching an estimated 83,000 individuals. These events highlighted issues of compliance with labor, employment and labor protection legislation, the procedure for conducting inspections, the eradication of forced labor, and the prevention of child labor. (24)

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. During the reporting period, a new education sector plan for 2019–2023 was developed by the education ministries and stakeholders with the support of UNICEF. (73-75)

School Assistance†

Ministry of Public Education program to provide winter clothes and other educational resources for needy families to support school attendance. (16,41) The government continued to support this program in 2018. (6)

Family Support Assistance†

Government program that provides an allowance to low-income families on the condition that their children continue their education up to age 18. (6,41) In 2018, the government provided allowance to low-income families with 405,801 children. (24)

Child Protection Assistance†

UNICEF program with the government to develop a national child protection system to prevent child abuse, exploitation, and violence, and to respond to children who are victims or at risk. (6,76) The government continued to cooperate with UNICEF on this program in 2018. (6)

National Rehabilitation Center†

MOELR-operated shelter that provides human trafficking victims with emergency medical and social services and assists in social rehabilitation. (6,65) The government continued to support this program in 2018. (6)

Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations' Fund for Community Works†

Offers the unemployed opportunities for paid public works, including seasonal agricultural work. Matches job seekers with labor needs in the cotton harvest to reduce the risk of forced labor. (45,77) The government continued to operate this program in 2018 to attract workers to areas of Uzbekistan where there were insufficient local populations to meet cotton harvest quotas. (6,24)

† Program is funded by the Government of Uzbekistan.

Although there are programs to address child labor in the cotton sector, research did not find evidence of programs designed to address child labor in other sectors, such as scrap metal collection.

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

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Criminally prohibit and penalize the use of a child for prostitution.

2015 – 2018

Criminally prohibit the recruitment of children under age 18 by non-state armed groups.

2016 – 2018

Raise the minimum age for work to the age up to which education is compulsory.

2018

Enforcement

Publish information about the labor inspectorate’s funding, number of unannounced inspections, number of child labor violations for which penalties were imposed, and number of penalties imposed that were collected.

2015 – 2018

Continue to increase the number of labor inspectors to meet the ILO’s technical advice.

2015 – 2018

Ensure that labor inspectors are permitted to self-initiate unannounced inspections in all sectors, even if no complaint has been filed.

2018

Publish data on criminal law enforcement efforts related to child labor.

2011 – 2018

Reinstate national monitoring of the cotton harvest by the Coordination Council on Child Labor and Forced Labor, and extend monitoring to the spring weeding season, to continue building the capacity of local institutions to track and respond to cases of child labor in cotton production.

2018

Coordination

Publish information on the actions of the coordination bodies to fulfill their mandates.

2018

Government Policies

Revise policies that mandate cotton harvest quotas to help prevent forced involvement of children under age 18 in the cotton harvest.

2012 – 2018

Continue to allow independent observers unrestricted access to monitor labor conditions during the cotton harvest through unannounced site visits and sanction officials who harass or obstruct independent monitors.

2017 – 2018

Publish information on actions taken to implement each of the specific policies and action plans established to address child labor.

2018

Social Programs

Collect and publish data on the extent and nature of child labor to inform policies and programs.

2013 – 2018

Expand programs to address the worst forms of child labor in sectors other than cotton harvesting.

2009 – 2018

  1. Ozodlik. Students in Uzbekistan are locked up for not turning in scrap metal. February 25, 2015.
    http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/26867626.html.

  2. Ashurov, Sadriddin, and Farruh Yusupov. Out of the Uzbek Cotton Fields, On to the Scrap Yard. February 16, 2015.
    http://www.rferl.org/content/uzbekcottonpickingscrapyard/26852654.html.

  3. Ozodlik. Parents Purchase Scrap Metal to Save their Children from Humiliation in School. February 11, 2016.
    http://rus.ozodlik.org/a/27544509.html.

  4. Ozodlik. Uzbek Students Dig in the Trash and Walk the Gutters in Search of Scrap Metal. October 24, 2016.
    http://rus.ozodlik.org/a/28070485.html.

  5. ILO. Third party monitoring of child labour and forced labour during the 2018 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan April 1, 2019.
    https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_681372/lang--en/index.htm.

  6. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. February 22, 2019.

  7. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed March 16, 2010. For more information, please see “Children’s Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
    http://data.uis.unesco.org/.

  8. ILO. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 3, 2006. Analysis received March 12, 2019. Please see “Children’s Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

  9. 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.

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

  11. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. January 9, 2018.

  12. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labor 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.

  13. Ozodlik. In Uzbekistan, students who don't turn in scrap metal are threatened with expulsion. October 1, 2015.
    http://www.ozodlik.org/content/article/26785683.html.

  14. 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.

  15. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015: Uzbekistan. Washington, D.C. July 27, 2015.
    https://2009-2017.state.gov/documents/organization/243562.pdf

  16. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. February 16, 2016.

  17. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. There is no work we haven't done: Forced labor of public sector employees in Uzbekistan February 2019.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Uzbekistan.Forced-Labor-in-Public-Sector-Report.English.1.2019.pdf.

  18. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2019: Uzbekistan. Washington, DC. June 20, 2019.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-trafficking-in-persons-report-2/uzbekistan/.

  19. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2018: Uzbekistan. Washington, DC. June 28, 2018.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-trafficking-in-persons-report/uzbekistan/.

  20. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Forced Labor in Uzbekistan's Cotton Sector: Preliminary Findings from the 2016 Harvest. December 2016.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/20161205-Forced-Labor-in-Uzbekistans-Cotton-Sector_final-memo-1.pdf.

  21. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Despite Commitment and Efforts, Systematic Forced Labor in Uzbekistan's Cotton Fields was Present During the 2018 Harvest. December 14, 2018.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/despite-commitment-and-efforts-systematic-forced-labor-in-uzbekistan-s-cotton-fields-was-present-during-the-2018-harvest/.

  22. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. January 9, 2019.

  23. U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2018: Uzbekistan. March 13, 2019.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/uzbekistan/.

  24. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent official. Email communication to USDOL official. July 18, 2019.

  25. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. December 21, 2019.

  26. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights They said we wouldn't have to pick and now they send us to the fields April 2019.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cotton-Harvest-2018-4.pdf.

  27. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. We Pick Cotton out of Fear: systematic forced labor and the accountability gap in Uzbekistan. May 19, 2018.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/We_pick_cotton_out_of_fear.pdf.

  28. 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.

  29. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. ZRU-139 On the 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.

  30. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. ZRU-365 Labor Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Enacted: 1996.
    https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex4.detail?p_lang=en&p_isn=98879.

  31. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law No. 2015-XII Administrative Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Enacted: 1994. Source on file.

  32. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Decree on Approval of Provision on Requirements on Prohibition of Use of Minors' Labor. Enacted: 2010. Source on file.

  33. 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. Source on file.

  34. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Enacted: 1992.
    http://gov.uz/en/constitution/.

  35. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Enacted: 1994.
    http://www.legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes/country/55.

  36. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Law on Universal Military Service. Enacted: 2002. Source on file.

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

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

  39. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. January 15, 2015.

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

  41. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. January 13, 2016.

  42. Government of Uzbekistan. Response to FRN. Source on file.

  43. ILO-Geneva official. Email Communication to USDOL official. 2018.

  44. ILO-Tashkent official. Email communication to USDOL official. 2018.

  45. Government of Uzbekistan. Resolution on Measures for Improving the Structure of Labour Governance Bodies and Strengthening the System for Protection of Labour Rights and Occupational Safety and Health. August 20, 2018. Source on file.

  46. CIA. The World Factbook. Accessed March 18, 2017. Please see “Labor Law Enforcement: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
    https://www.cia.gov/Library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2095rank.html.

  47. ILO. Strategies and Practice for Labour Inspection. (GB.297/ESP/3). November 2006. Please see “Labor Law Enforcement: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
    http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/gb/docs/gb297/pdf/esp-3.pdf.

  48. UN. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 Statistical Annex. 2017. Please see “Labor Law Enforcement: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
    https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/publication/2017wesp_full_en.pdf.

  49. ILO. Support to the Implementation of the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan: Technical Progress Report. October 2018. Source on file.

  50. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Cotton Harvest 2017: Summary of Key Findings. March 2018. Source on file.

  51. International Finance Corporation. Sustainable Cotton Supply Chain Development in Uzbekistan: The Development, Testing, and Implementation of a Sustainable Cotton Standard System. February 28, 2019.
    https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/6fcb79f3-c156-4e8f-888b-cfbd079a0476/Project-Report-Sustainable-Cotton-Supply-Uzbekistan.pdf.

  52. ILO. Third Party Monitoring of Child and Forced Labour During the 2018 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan [DRAFT]. February 2019.

  53. Better Cotton Initiative. Principles and Criteria. Version 2.1. March 2018.
    https://bettercotton.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Better-Cotton-Principles-Criteria-V2.1.pdf.

  54. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 3. October 13, 2018.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/cotton-harvest-chronicle-2018-issue-3/.

  55. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 4. October 29, 2018.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Cotton-Harvest-Chronicle-2018-Issue-4.pdf.

  56. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018. Issue 2. October 2018.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Cotton_chronicle-2018.pdf.

  57. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent. Reporting. February 13, 2017.

  58. Government of Uzbekistan. Response to TIP 2015 Questionnaire. 2016.

  59. Gotev. Narbaeva: Uzbekistan is determined to reform and put an end to negative stereotypes. April 4, 2019.
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-asia/interview/narbaeva-uzbekistan-is-determined-to-reform-and-put-an-end-to-negative-stereotypes/.

  60. USDOL Official. Trip Report, May 2018.

  61. Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Journalist Detained for Exposing Hokim Ordering Doctors and Teachers to Pick Cotton. October 31, 2018.
    http://uzbekgermanforum.org/journalist-davlatnazar-ruzmetov-was-detained-for-seven-days-for-attempting-to-record-a-meeting-where-the-district-hokimordered-teachers-and-doctors-to-pick-cotton/.

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

  63. ILO Committee of Experts. Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.
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  64. 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.
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  65. Government of Uzbekistan. Response to TDA Questionnaire. January 25, 2017.

  66. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. National Action Plan for the Application of ILO Conventions. Enacted: May 27, 2014.
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  67. ILO. Third Party Monitoring of the use of child labour and forced labour during the Uzbekistan 2015 Cotton Harvest. November 20, 2015.
    http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/307241448038866033/Uzbek-2015-TPM-Report-20112015.pdf.

  68. Government of Uzbekistan. Cooperation with the ILO and World Bank on Eliminating Forced and Child Labor. January 15, 2016. Source on file.

  69. Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Government Action Plan for improving labor conditions, employment and social protection of workers in agricultural sector in 2016-2018. Enacted: January 7, 2016. Source on file.

  70. Government of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan Education Sector Plan 2013-2017. September 2013.
    http://www.globalpartnership.org/sites/default/files/2013-09-Uzbekistan-Education-Sector-Plan-2013-2017.pdf.

  71. U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Child Labor Forced Labor and Human Trafficking. Notice of Intent to Fund the Decent Work Country Program in Uzbekistan. 2014.

  72. 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. November 3, 2014. Source on file.

  73. Global Partnership for Education. Global Partnership for Education: Uzbekistan. January 14, 2015.
    http://www.globalpartnership.org/country/uzbekistan.

  74. Global Partnership for Education. Global Partnership for Education: About GPE. January 14, 2015.
    http://www.globalpartnership.org/about-GPE.

  75. World Bank. Uzbekistan Education Sector Analysis. December 27, 2018.
    http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/379211551844192053/pdf/Uzbekistan-Education-Sector-Analysis.pdf.

  76. UNICEF. UNICEF Uzbekistan: Child Protection: Social Work. January 14, 2015.
    http://unicef.uz/en/programmes/child-protection/social-work.

  77. U.S. Embassy- Tashkent official. Email communication to USDOL official. July 3, 2018.

  78. Cabinet of Ministers, Decree 349 on Additional Measures to Eradicate Forced Labor in the Republic of Uzbekistan, May 10, 2018. http://lex.uz/docs/3730231?query.