There is no systematic use of child labour in the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan and significant measures to end forced labour are being implemented.

The annual cotton harvest in Uzbekistan is a unique large-scale effort. In 2017, an estimated 2.6 million people were recruited to pick cotton during a period starting in September and stretching out to early November. Most cotton pickers were recruited voluntarily, with the added encouragement of raised wages. A certain number pick cotton during at least some part of the harvest as a result of persuasion, pressure or coercion.

For five years now, the Government and social partners – employers and trade unions as well as civil society representatives – of Uzbekistan have been engaged in implementing policies with the aim of ensuring that all recruitment and cotton picking is voluntary. This process has significantly been intensified due to high-level attention paid to the issue, improved governance, measures to enforce voluntary recruitment and increased transparency and national and international dialogue and cooperation.

Over this period, the International Labour Office (ILO) has concluded that the systematic use of child labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest has come to an end. This is based on observations made through monitoring of the harvest and various forms of technical cooperation since 2013. Today, there is clear political commitment at central level to completely end the use of forced labour. In 2017, this commitment has been expressed at the highest political level and concrete measures are being implemented.

The most authoritative signal of change was given by the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2017, and by the subsequent measures taken nationally to implement a policy of voluntary recruitment for the cotton harvest.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Email
Third-party monitoring of measures against child labour and forced labour during the 2017 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, ILO, 2018 DOWNLOAD
OceanaGold in the Philippines: Ten Violations that Should Prompt Its Removal
Publications 31 October 2018

By Robin Broad, John Cavanagh, Catherine Coumans, and Rico La Vina The authors of this report—researchers from the United States, Canada, and the Philippines—have studied OceanaGold’s operations in the Philippines and other countries. The have...Read More

Ripe for Change: Ending Human Suffering in Supermarket Supply Chains report
Publications 20 June 2018

Millions of people around the world who farm, fish, and process the food in our stores are working extremely long hours, toiling in unsafe conditions, and earning only poverty wages. The report and its accompanying methodology note launch Oxfam’...Read More

Minors in Kathmandu’s adult entertainment sector: What’s driving demand?
Publications 03 October 2018

Kathmandu’s adult entertainment sector (AES) is made up of a complex web of venues that includes massage parlours, dance bars, cabin restaurants and guest houses. These workplaces employ young women and girls as waitresses and dancers who entertain...Read More

Compendium of relevant reference materials and resources on ethical sourcing and prevention of trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation in supply chains
LegislationPublications 22 March 2018

The objective of the Compendium of Resources is to take stock of the existing legislation, policies, guidelines, recommendations, reports, studies, and other types of initiatives developed to better understand and respond to the global problem of tra...Read More