Uzbek cotton excluded from list of goods produced by forced labor

Uzbek cotton is excluded from the list of goods produced by forced labor. This decision was made by the US Department of Labor, Uzreport said.

The U.S. Department of Labor has released its annual report “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor and Forced Labor 2022”. The report provides detailed information on the results of reforms in this sector initiated in 2017 by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

“This decision was made taking into account the results of the monitoring of the 2021 cotton harvest by the International Labor Organization, which noted the absence of systematic forced labor. In addition, the American side conducted an assessment in 2022, within the framework of which a series of studies and interviews with government, non-government and industry officials were organized.

In particular, the work on the implementation of fundamental principles and rights in the sphere of labor was highly appreciated, including the establishment of an effective mechanism of tripartite consultations (with the participation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Labor of Uzbekistan, the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan and the Association of Employers of Uzbekistan) in making important decisions in the social and labor sphere .

The key takeaway regarding Uzbekistan is that government measures, supported by international stakeholders, have resulted in a significant reduction in forced labor in the cotton sector. Individual cases are believed to be sporadic, and the government has demonstrated the ability, through enforcement mechanisms, to respond quickly to any new cases. Government efforts have made tremendous progress in reducing forced labor and creating better conditions for workers, says in the annual report.

In 2009, Uzbek cotton was included in the list of goods produced by child and forced labor. At the same time, in 2018, based on the results of monitoring and research conducted by international observers, including experts from the International Labor Organization, the US Department of Labor excluded Uzbek cotton from the list of goods produced by child labor. Since then, this product has remained on the list of goods produced by forced labor. Currently, Uzbek cotton is completely excluded from this list.

In turn, this will create new opportunities for the export of cotton products from Uzbekistan, creating new jobs and increasing the income of the population.,
Sept. 29, 2022