May 6, 2021

Is the World Bank funding forced labor?

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From Freedom United

The World Bank is an institution that provides loans for developing countries. Right now it is providing almost $500 million to Uzbek agriculture projects. Yet Uzbekistan’s cotton industry has historically relied upon state-sanctioned forced labor. Urge the World Bank to force change or withdraw their funding now!

Whilst we have seen progress in Uzbekistan following the Uzbek Prime Minister’s announcement in September 2017 that the mobilization of students, teachers and healthcare workers would be halted “forever”,[1] an estimated 336,000 people were forced to pick cotton during that harvest according to the UN’s International Labour Organization.[2] So why has the World Bank not taken action?

The 2018 harvest is now finished and as we wait for the overall picture to emerge, cases of exploitation have come to our attention. Just last month, the tragic death of 24-year-old Sohibjon Mutalibov brought to light that his employer, Uzbek-Spanish company Ammofos-Maxam, forcibly sent their workers to the fields in last year’s harvest.[3]

Watch the video on Sohibjon’s case on our campaign page and add your name calling on the World Bank to stop funding projects until Uzbekistan puts an end to its system of forced labor.

In solidarity,

Joanna and the Freedom United team

[1] https://www.freedomunited.org/news/abuse-on-cotton-fields-persists-despite-change-in-uzbek-policy/
[2] https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—ipec/documents/publication/wcms_617830.pdf
[3] http://uzbekgermanforum.org/spanish-owned-chemical-company-implicated-in-forced-labour-with-tragic-consequences/

To watch the video go to: https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/loans-forced-labor/?trk_msg=6UAFF3HNAEV4NAHVAVA98HURO4&trk_contact=037FSGUJ91I19DOFIHRSCHO86K&trk_sid=KMN8T6TGVK4B2HJFAL5IEAQG2K&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Watch+the+video+on+Sohibjon%E2%80%99s+case+on+our+campaign+page+and+add+your+name&utm_campaign=FU-EN-17JAN-2019-WORLD-BANK-NAT-ACTIVE&utm_content=FU-EN-17JAN-2019-WORLD-BANK-NAT-ACTIVE

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