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Washington Slams Uzbekistan over Human Trafficking

A poster in Tashkent offers a warning about human trafficking. Joanna Lillis

The United States has given Uzbekistan the lowest possible rating in its annual report on human trafficking and forced labor. 

Uzbekistan was downgraded (along with Russia and China) from Tier 2 to Tier 3 in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report for failing to make sufficient efforts to combat the trade in human flesh. 

The June 19 report had harsh words for Tashkent: “The Government of Uzbekistan remains one of only a handful of governments around the world that subjects its citizens to forced labor through implementation of state policy.” 

The use of forced labor in the cotton harvest featured strongly in the findings: “Internal labor trafficking remains prevalent during the annual cotton harvest, in which children and adults are victims of government-organized forced labor. There were reports that working conditions in some fields during the cotton harvest included verbal and physical abuse and lack of freedom of movement.”

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Washington Slams Uzbekistan over Human Trafficking

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