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Teachers, Students, Labor Rights Watchdogs, Religious Leaders, Call on Uzbekistan to End Forced Child Labor in Cotton Fields



CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, 202-822-5200, ira[at]
Leslie Getzinger, American Federation of Teachers, 202 321 4034, lgetzing[at]

Major Human Rights Abuses Complicate U.S. Trade Relations with Central Asian Republic

Teachers, Students, Labor Rights Watchdogs, Religious Leaders, Call on Uzbekistan to End Forced Child Labor in Cotton Fields

Demonstration at Embassy of Uzbekistan Delivers Petitions Demanding That Millions of Children be Sent Out of the Fields and Back to School this Fall

No Let Up in the Onslaught against Colombian Trade Unionists


On 1 October at 8.30 p.m., hired assassins seriously injured Mario Montes de Oca Anaya and killed Alberto Luis Pastrana Soto, who was with him at the time, as they approached the main entrance of Hospital San Jerónimo in the city of Montería, Córdoba. These crimes are yet another illustration of the failure to improve the lot of trade unionists in Colombia, where there is a systematic policy of violence against the trade union movement.

Guinea: Commission of Inquiry Must Be Set Up to Investigate Brutal Repression of Demonstrators


The ITUC has strongly condemned the brutal repression of demonstrators in Conakry and has reiterated the call for maximum sanctions against the perpetrators and instigators of the barbaric acts perpetrated on Monday 28 September in Guinea, when over 150 people were killed, 1200 injured and numerous women were raped in the middle of the street "The trade union movement is in a state of shock," said Guy Ryder, general secretary of the ITUC.

DOL Child Labor List Released


September 10, 2009
Contact: Brian Campbell
Tim Newman

Today, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a list of goods believed to have been produced using forced or child labor globally.  The list includes a number of industries where the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) has identified these labor rights abuses to occur including cocoa, cotton, tobacco and rubber.

US Department of Labor Includes Uzbek Cotton on List of Products Made by Forced, Child Labor


September 10, 2009

Contact: Brian Campbell, brian.campbell[at], +1-202-347-4100 x102
Leslie Getzinger, lgetzing[at], +1-202-585-4373
Melinda Lovins, Melinda.Lovins[at], +1-301-657-7089

Advocates and Shareholders Express Concern about Ongoing Forced Labor of Children in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Industry

Middle East: Governments Step Up Repression As Economic Crisis Hits Jobs and Incomes


As the economic situation in several Middle Eastern countries has deteriorated over the past three months, an alarming increase in repression of independent trade union activity has taken place, as governments react with force to demands for better protection of incomes and for job security.

In Morocco, massive fraud took place during national employee-representative elections, aimed at excluding trade unions from future negotiations on wages and working conditions. Other forms of anti-union action have included dismissal of workplace trade union representatives.

Guatemala: A dysfunctional labour justice system


The ITUC joins the Confederación de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG), the Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala (CGTG) and UNSITRAGUA in expressing its profound concern at the very serious allegations of corruption and impunity within the Guatemalan labour law and justice system, affecting all workers in the union centres’ affiliates, with particular regard to the system’s independence and autonomy.

ILO team arrives to probe rights abuses


A three-member team of International Labour Organisations (ILO) officials is in Zimbabwe to probe alleged violations of trade union rights by the Zimbabwean government.

The team, which is led by Raymond Ranjeva, a senior judge with the International Court of Justice, is set to spend two weeks in the country.

Ranjeva is accompanied by Evance Rabban Kalula, University of Cape Town director of the institute of development and labour law, and Bertrand Ramcharan, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

No End to Assassinations in Colombia


The ITUC, together with its regional organisation TUCA and its three national affiliates in Colombia, has strongly condemned the murder of Rafael Antonio Sepúlveda Lara, an affiliate of the national hospital workers’ union, Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Hospitalarios de Colombia (ANTHOC), and a member of the national executive of the public servants’ federation, Federación Nacional de Servidores Públicos (FENASER-CTC).

Colombia: Two More Trade Unionists Murdered


The ITUC once again strongly condemns and denounces the murders of two more trade unionists in the Arauca region. Pablo Rodríguez Garavito and Jorge Humberto Echaverri Garro, teachers affiliated to the Arauca teachers’ association Asociación de Educadores de Arauca (ASEDAR), were brutally murdered by unknown gunmen.

The ITUC has joined with its regional organisation TUCA, its Colombian affiliates, and ASEDAR, in their resounding condemnation of these murders, mourned by working people and the national, regional and international trade union movement.

Niger: Democracy Under Threat


According to the seven Nigerien trade union organisations within the Intercentrale CDTN-CGSL-CNT-UGSEIN-UGTN-USPT-USTN inter-union grouping, democratic stability is under serious threat in Niger. President Mamadou Tandja is pushing for a referendum aimed at changing the Nigerien Constitution so that he can run for a third term.

This situation has come about following the Constitutional Court’s rejection, on 25 May, of his call for a referendum. The National Assembly was dissolved the following day.

Outlaw Tainted ‘White Gold’


Global clothing brands and retailers were today urged to purge their supply chains of tainted "white gold' - cotton from Uzbekistan picked by forced and child labour.

Speaking in Geneva on the World Day Against Child Labour, Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation hit out at the global cotton industry as one of the most exploitative industries employing millions of children in preparing, planting and picking.