WASHINGTON – Uzbekistan has made significant strides in reducing the amount of forced labour in its cotton sector but has failed to eliminate it completely. Independent new research on the 2019 cotton harvest found the country’s central government continues to be involved in mobilising employees of public institutions and business to work on cotton farms, with the fear of job or benefit loss if they refuse. The research found that those mobilised to work were mainly mid-level civil servants, but also included emergency workers, firefighters, hospital, and school employees.
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