The World Bank published the results of independent monitoring of the use of child and forced labor during the 2015 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, the organization reported on its website.
Particular attention was paid to areas where specific projects are carried out with the support of the World Bank. During the monitoring, conducted by the specialists of the International Labor Organization (ILO), there was no definitive evidence that the beneficiaries of projects, supported by the World Bank, used child or forced labor during the season of harvesting cotton 2015.
However, the World Bank and the ILO are seriously concerned about the risk of forced labor associated with the organized involvement of adults for cotton harvesting. One of the findings of the monitoring of the ILO was the need for further active steps to eliminate the risk of forced labor. The report noted that partners in Uzbekistan recognize the existence of such risks.
"In 2015, it became possible to monitor the use of forced labor of adults in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan for the first time," Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, said.
"This is evidence of significant progress in our long-term strategic relationship with the Uzbek authorities. The ultimate goal is to assist Uzbekistan in the reform of the use of labor in the cotton industry, and to support the diversification and modernization of the country's agriculture in a broader sense," he said.
We will continue to work together with the Government and partners to take effective measures to reduce all risks. It is necessary to do much more, but we are moving in the right direction," Kumar Jha said.