November 9, 2016. A workshop on the "Preliminary results of the National monitoring of child and forced labor" organized jointly with the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan and the International Labour Organization (ILO) was held at the Training Center of the Federation.
The event was attended by ILO experts, members of the territorial national monitoring groups representing the Federation of Trade Unions, "Kamolot" Public Youth Movement and self-initiated regional non-governmental non-profit organizations (NGOs).
As it was noted during the workshop, the scope of considered situations and the level of independency of the experts have increased in 2016. Moreover, the concept and the format of the monitoring have been substantially revised. As a result, the monitoring has gained the complex nature and has been conducted not only on the child and forced labor, but also on creation of favorable conditions for work and recreation, timely payment and labor protection. The methodology of the National Monitoring was based on the updated ILO methodology.
As part of the study on work and living conditions of the cotton-picking process participants, a separate evaluation methodology including assessment of the labor protection conditions, hygiene and sanitation, availability of the hot food and drinking water, the regularity and amount of remuneration, correct issue of the contracts between collector units and Boards of farmers has been developed.
Based on the agreement with relevant ministries and departments the Federation of Trade Unions has formed 13 regional working groups for national monitoring. Training of the monitoring groups leaders was held with participation of ILO experts.
National monitoring included visits to companies, organizations and institutions, farms, cotton fields in all regions of Uzbekistan on the basis of random sampling. For the whole period of monitoring interviews with 6615 respondents have been conducted by the regional groups.
According to regional monitoring groups, before and during the current cotton-picking season an extensive preventive work on eliminating child and forced labor has been conducted by the responsible organizations. Non-stop operation of educational and medical institutions has been ensured. Infrastructure, including transport, markets, trade and consumer services, and pharmacies functioned in the standard regime. Measures to fill the workload of students in educational institutions by organizing clubs, sport sections outside of school hours have been taken. The average attendance rate in educational institutions was tracked at 93.8%.
Appropriate conditions for work and rest of cotton pickers, including provision of hot meals, clean drinking water, fire protection and the required sanitary conditions, material and moral encouragement have been created.
More than 500 banners and advertisements on the free employment (public offer) for a cotton-pickers work have been installed in all regions and cities of Uzbekistan. In all districts and cities, especially in the places of people’s gathering, 386 banners have been placed, in enterprises and organizations 44.5 thousand posters on preventing child and forced labor have been hung out, among employers and farmers 100 thousand leaflets on administrative responsibility for forced labor and the use of child labor have been widely disseminated.
During the workshop, ILO representatives emphasized the high level of awareness in issues of prevention of child and forced labor, as well as significant progress made in this area compared to previous years.
National experts consisted exclusively of representatives of public organizations made presentations on the work done in all 13 regions of Uzbekistan within the framework of the National Monitoring.
- This year, the preventive measures to eliminate child and forced labor have been significantly improved, we could see it during the national monitoring process, - paid special attention Nazifa Kamalova, who is the head of "Istiklol Avlod" NGO in Jizzakh region.
- When we asked college students about why they did not go to pick cotton, we got a definite answer, that the involvement of minor children in the collection process is prohibited by law.
At the end of the presentations a constructive discussion was continued. During the discussions some proposals on further improvement of the national monitoring work were made by workshop participants.
Press Service of the Federation of Trade Unions’ Council