In the News

Peru Labor Report on the Way


The Department of Labor could release a report next month responding to a complaint that Peru is failing to comply with labor standards under a 2009 trade agreement with the U.S., said Eric Gottwald, legal and policy director for the International Labor Rights Forum.

BJ's Wholesale Club Pledges Support to Help End Forced Labor in Uzbekistan

3BL Media
WESTBOROUGH, Mass., January 27, 2016 /3BL Media/ - BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., continues its opposition on the use of forced labor by joining over 200 other brands and companies in signing the Cotton Pledge, managed by the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN). Under this pledge, BJ’s has agreed to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton for the manufacturing of any of its products until the Government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced labor in its cotton sector.

UN Finds Nepeskuliev's Imprisonment Arbitrary, Calls For Release

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has found the deprivation of liberty of Turkmen journalist and activist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev to be arbitrary.
The WGAD opinion was issued on December 2, 2015 in response to a petition filed by Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN). ATN claimed that the criminal case against Nepeskuliev was fabricated and was directly related to his work as a reporter.

Workers Fired At Mexico Plant Stake Their Ground On Union Rights

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — “This is a difficult Christmas. It is very sad,” Maria Duran said, tears welling in her eyes.
Rather than spending Christmas Eve with her husband and four children in their small home in Juarez’s southeastern edge, Maria was sitting inside a makeshift shelter at the gates of a factory that belongs to her former employer, Lexmark.

U.S. lifted Uzbekistan's rights ranking as cotton field abuses continued

The news reached Dmitry Tihonov in Uzbekistan's rural heartland as the labor activist quietly recorded the arrival of thousands of teachers, nurses, laborers, students and other conscripts sent to the fields to pick cotton.
A fire had destroyed Tihonov’s home office. When he returned to search the debris on Oct. 29, his reports for international monitors documenting the annual mobilization had vanished.

US Government Caught Downplaying Forced Labor in Uzbekistan

Experts at the U.S. State Department said Uzbekistan had “failed to make significant and sustained efforts” to address “endemic” forced labor in its cotton industry, but senior officials disregarded their testimony and instead claimed progress was being made, the Reuters news agency revealed Wednesday.
Uzbekistan is a close U.S. ally, with NATO using the country to ship supplies to its forces in neighboring Afghanistan. The most populous nation in Central Asia, the country has been ruled by dictator Islam Karimov since 1990.

World Bank loans to Uzbekistan questioned after ILO findings


A leading NGO is calling on the World Bank to suspend two loans it provided to Uzbekistan for agricultural projects after an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report found the Uzbek authorities violated their contractual commitment to it by using forced labour during the cotton picking season.

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