Blood Cotton: Uzbekistan's illegitimate trade
|By SS.Fahad Hussain|
Has anyone of us ever realized that the clothes we bear, the fabrics we gracefully flaunt in parties, the dresses we desire fully admire to have one of those to outshine our aura, have a fraction of share of blood and cries of those minors and helpless humans who lived under the most repressive regimes in the world, Uzbekistan!
As one of the leading exporter of cotton in the world, has become most controversial and deadly producers of our times, who’s every inch of a harvested soil is drained with the blood of its innocent people who just lived and work in a hope to live freely and rightfully in a more democratic and humane manner someday or other.
The cotton which is grown in the hinterlands of this central Asian republic is tainted with brutalities, abuses, and more such of its kind abuses to the younger generation as laborers which also shamelessly comprises of small school going children at a very tender age of even 10.
According to ILRF – ‘the government of Uzbekistan, under President Islam Karimov, for decades has forced adults and children as young as 10 to pick cotton under appalling conditions each harvest season. Provincial government offices order schoolteachers to close schools and enforce quotas in the cotton fields. The local authorities send government and private business employees to pick cotton, in order to meet cotton production quotas. The Uzbek government combines these orders with threats, detains and tortures Uzbek activists seeking to monitor the situation, and refuses to address the problem of forced labor.’
In 2014 over one million people were forced for harvest cotton by the Uzbek government, through which officials generated nearly USD 1billion in profits, with benefits to none for laborers. These forced laborers even include teachers and doctors from public sectors, therefore; decimating the provision of essential public services such as education & healthcare, as reported by Uzbek-German Forum in its findings on forced labors. According to UGF for its report on 2015 harvest, in May this year government forced labors to harvest silk another crucial sector to fill government coffers year on year with exchequer of billions of dollars, according to http://uzbekgermanforum.org/chronicle-of-forced-labour-in-uzbekistan-issue-1-2015/ .This increased number of work force from public sector was intended to compensate the decreased number of child labor which arises after the ban was implemented under international pressure on the use of child labor in 2012. Since then condition and suppression of the educated workforce and forceful implication has remained the common phenomenon in Uzbekistan.
Last year, President Islam Karimov was consecutively inaugurated for a fourth term; despite a constitutional restriction to just two terms in office. He has served as the country’s ruler even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. His rule has been characterized by brutal crackdowns on political opposition, election rigging, and violations of the constitution.
Uzbekistan is the only country with the history and trend of state sponsored slavery!
All Rights Reserved with The Oslo Times