29 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/08/2011
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
04/30/2005 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
01/22/2008 UZBEKISTAN
Open letter against child labour calls for Uzbek cotton boycott
06/11/2008 INDIA
Education and learning against child exploitation, says Lenin Raghuvanshi
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/26/2010 KYRGYZSTAN – UZBEKISTAN
War among the poor as Uzbek migrant workers seek jobs in Kyrgyzstan

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.