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Forum “How Uzbekistan eradicates child labor and forced labor while picking cotton” takes place in Brussels

Botschaft Usbekistan, April 3, 2019

On 1 April 2019, the government delegation of Uzbekistan headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbaeva participated in forum on the topic “How Uzbekistan eradicates child and forced labor when picking cotton” in Brussels.

It was organized by organized by the International Labor Organization, the World Bank, the embassies of Uzbekistan, the USA and Switzerland with the participation of the European Institute for Asian Studies.

According to the Uzbekistan Mission to the EU, the forum was attended by high representatives of the European Commission, international non-governmental organizations, as well as labor and human rights NGOs, business and investment companies advocating the eradication of child and forced labor in cotton production.

The participants welcomed the process of large-scale reforms implemented in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It was noted that the changes have the most positive impact on the life of the population, the activities of state bodies are radically changing, macroeconomic stability is being ensured in the country, dialogue with NGOs and civil society institutions is being restored, many years of problems are being resolved that impede the development of regional interaction and trade. It was emphasized that “in the field of the eradication of child and forced labor of Uzbekistan has achieved tremendous results. These problems are no longer systemic in the republic. ”

Deputy Director General of the ILO, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Heinz Köller thanked Uzbekistan for ratifying all 15 key ILO conventions and the commitment of the government to implement them. “The visit of ILO Director General G. Raider to Uzbekistan in December 2018 was a recognition of the progress made by Uzbekistan in the area of the eradication of child and forced labor,” Heinz Köhler said.

Relying on the data of independent monitoring by the ILO of cotton picking in Uzbekistan in 2018, he stressed that neither child nor forced labor is used in the country anymore.

Pierre Amilat, director of the Asia-Central Asia, Middle East and Asia-Pacific Department of the Directorate General of the European Union Commission for International Cooperation, said that the EU is working closely with the government of Uzbekistan, the ILO and the World Bank in conducting an independent ILO monitoring of the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. The EU is impressed with the commitment and readiness of the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to cooperate with foreign partners, as well as the level of mobilization in reforming government bodies and introducing market mechanisms.

“We are very pleased that child labor is no longer seen as a concern in Uzbekistan,” said Pierre Amilat. - This is not a systemic structural problem, but concerns the implementation of laws. We see that the country has the appropriate legal framework, violators of laws are subject to legal prosecution even when government officials are involved in the violations. ”

The Director of the Department also said that the EU intends to start providing budget support to Uzbekistan in the field of agriculture and rural development in the very near future.

Pierre Amilat said that the EU is considering the issue of granting the status of GSP + to Uzbekistan: "This is a tool for full-fledged partnership, including political cooperation."

The representative of the international confederation of trade unions, John Beynart, noted that the changes taking place in Uzbekistan exceed all expectations. In his words, the most important is that the initiative to implement the transformation comes from the country itself. At the same time, he stressed the importance of preventing risks associated with the transition to market mechanisms.

The representative of the international NGO Human Rights Watch, Stephen Sverdlow, added that over the past two years, the NGO held a number of very productive meetings with representatives of the government of Uzbekistan, which is very important.


Original-Inhalt von Botschaft Usbekistan und übermittelt von Botschaft Usbekistan