26 May 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 10/08/2011, 00.00

    UZBEKISTAN

    Europe blocks Uzbek cotton harvested with child labour



    International groups denounce the continuing exploitation of children as young as 9, forced to pick cotton for months without going to school. The EU rejects an agreement on tax relief for Uzbek cotton. Tashkent, however appears unwilling to change.
    Tashkent (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The European Union has turned down a trade agreement to facilitate the textile exports from Uzbekistan to Europe, because the country continues to use forced child labor for the cotton harvest. For years the international community has unsuccessfully demanded Tashkent not force children to give up school in order to harvest crops.

    Uzbekistan is the 5 th largest producer and 3rd exporter of cotton. Cotton represents about 25% of its exports and the agreement would lower tariffs in Europe. But on Oct. 4, the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the EU Parliament unanimously rejected the agreement, asking Tashkent to allow a full and thorough international monitoring to ensure a halt to the exploitation of child labor "at any level." Now the question will be voted upon by the EU Committee for International Trade.

    Uzbekistan has long denied the exploitation of children for the cotton crops and defends itself by claiming that for the most part these are family businesses. But international organizations denounce, with data and photographs, that each year from September to December, between 200 thousand and 2 million children between 9 and 15 are taken away from school and forced to pick cotton for minimum wages.

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that children, even 10 years old, are brought by bus to the camps, with threats of fines for the families if they refuse. Joanna Ewart-Jones, in charge of the Program Against Slavery International, says that "90% of Uzbekistan cotton is harvested by hand, and about half is collected by forced child labour tolerated by the state."

    The Government of Uzbekistan, however, takes advantage for its strategic position in Central Asia. While the EU restricts trade, the United States is discussing whether to lift the sanctions imposed in 2004 for violations against human rights, although the situation has not improved. The Obama government wants to resume military cooperation with the country, for its strategic location in the heart of Central Asia and close to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, the country is rich in gas, much coveted by Europe as well as Russia, China and other countries.
    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    30/04/2005 UZBEKISTAN – TAJIKISTAN – TURKMENISTAN
    Cotton in Central Asia: a story of poverty, environmental degradation and labour exploitation


    09/09/2004 ASIA
    Child illiteracy and child labour are the continent's main social ills

    One fifth of India's GNP is generated by exploited minors working in farming sector.



    22/01/2008 UZBEKISTAN
    Open letter against child labour calls for Uzbek cotton boycott
    Human rights activists denounce Uzbek state for forcing pupils to leave schools to pick cotton at low wages. Profits go to politicians. Clothing retailers join the boycott, but the campaign is proving controversial. Teacher tells of her experience.

    11/06/2008 INDIA
    Education and learning against child exploitation, says Lenin Raghuvanshi
    On World Day against Child Labour, the Indian activist calls for better schooling for everyone as the only solution to the problem. Some 55 million children live in slave-like conditions, especially among the lowest castes of society.

    06/04/2017 20:40:00 CENTRAL ASIA
    Central Asia’s future has many opportunities, but needs cooperation

    The region’s five countries are split over unresolved issues rooted in the Soviet period as well as lingering border disputes. Russia and China exert economic and political influence. New initiatives, including from the EU and the US, can provide an opportunity for regional, even global prominence if they cooperate.





    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®