07 November 2016
documentary DELIVERS fresh evidence of forced labour in UzbekiSTAN
with the debate over the European Union's trade deal with Uzbekistan, Anti-Slavery International
released a new documentary evidencing abuses in this year’s harvest.
nine-minute documentary features interviews with cotton pickers and
follows activists monitoring the harvest, disproving claims that
citizens pick cotton voluntarily.
Workers taking part in the
harvest talk about the awful conditions in the fields, with many people
having to sleep on the floor of school gyms, sometimes with no running
water, and having to work for hours in sweltering heat. The interviews
also confirm that they go to the fields under a clear threat of being
fired from their jobs.
The activists interviewed in the video
explain the forced labour system and recount the abuses they suffer from
the regime for having the courage to campaign against the system,
including being locked up in a psychiatric ward, being made to pay large
fines, and detention and beatings.
“The documentary will leave
the viewer in no doubt over the impact of the cotton crimes on the Uzbek
people.” said Klara Skrivankova, Anti-Slavery International's UK and Europe Programme Manager.
“We hope the members of the
European Parliament will watch it as well and vote to halt a trade deal
which would result in the EU profiting from their misery.”
Please share the video widely.
documentary is also available to view on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cZUWZT0pOmc
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