SHAKHTINSK, Kazakhstan -- A strike by coal miners in north-central Kazakhstan has spread to more mines as hundreds of workers are refusing to return to the surface, demanding higher salaries and better benefits.
The head of the Parkent district administration of the Tashkent region, Nematulla Abdullaev, held a 45-minute meeting on November 1, 2017, during which he used abusive and insulting language to humiliate and intimidate the heads of organizations, enterprises, and community leaders for not sending enough people to pick cotton and meet quotas. An audiotape of this meeting was given to Radio Ozodlik (the Uzbek service of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty) by the head of an organization who took part in the meeting
In Turkmenistan, despite a ban on child labor, there are more children and teenagers in the cotton fields for this year’s cotton harvest campaign than in previous years. In addition, for the first time for many years the authorities in several regions of Turkmenistan have orchestrated the mass mobilization of children to pick cotton.
Bettina Sengling, a German journalist, has been following Uzbekistan’s most prominent human rights activists. In a recent article, published by the German magazine STERN, she reports on forced and child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry and the challenges faced by human rights activists in their courageous fight to end these practices.
A member of staff from Andijan Region’s Agriculture and Water Resources Department, who was brought to Syrdarya to pick cotton on 20 September, and who requested to remain anonymous, has complained to OzodMikrofon (Free Microphone) that he has been picking cotton for almost two months in difficult conditions and that the leadership has no plans to replace him or send him back home.