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2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Uzbekistan

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Uzbekistan, 7 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8c9fc2b.html [accessed 31 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

An education reform program began in 1997 that includes provisions for increasing the length of compulsory education and improved pre-professional training.[2666] UNICEF is implementing education sector projects that particularly benefit children with disabilities and aim to create safe school environments.[2667]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2000, UNICEF estimated that 23.4 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 15 in Uzbekistan were working.[2668] Children work in agriculture in rural areas, where large-scale, compulsory mobilization of children to help with cotton harvests has been reported.[2669] Schools allegedly close in rural areas to allow for child labor during the cotton harvest.[2670] Various nongovernmental organizations have reported that incidents of sexual exploitation of young women are increasing, although exact numbers are not available.[2671] Girls and young women are trafficked within Uzbekistan, and to Turkey, the Persian Gulf, and South Korea, for the purposes of sexual exploitation.[2672]

Education is compulsory for nine years.[2673] In 1998, the gross primary enrollment rate was 99.6 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 87.8 percent.[2674] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Uzbekistan. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[2675] Declining enrollment and high dropout, repetition, and absenteeism rates in both primary and secondary schools have been reported.[2676]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years, although students at age 14 may perform light work after school hours in limited, non-hazardous occupations.[2677] The Labor Code also prohibits children less than 18 years of age from working under unfavorable labor conditions and establishes limited work hours for minors.[2678] The Constitution prohibits forced labor except when fulfilling a court sentence.[2679] The Criminal Code prohibits the abduction and recruitment of children for the purposes of exploitation.[2680] Prostitution is punishable under the Administrative Code.[2681] Uzbekistan has not ratified either ILO Convention 138 or ILO Convention 182.[2682]


[2666] UNICEF, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, Republic of Uzbekistan, December 5, 2000 at http://www.childinfo.org/mics2/natlmicsrepz/uzbekistan/uzba_mics_report_final%20%20.pdf on 1/4/02 at 11.

[2667] UNICEF, Sub-Regional Programme for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran, October 2001-March 2002, at http://www.unicef.org/emerg/Country/Afghanistan/SubReg0110.htm on 10/24/01.

[2668] Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2, 2000 as cited in Understanding Children's Work at www.ucw-project.org/resources/index.html on 1/4/02.

[2669] There has been an increase in the number of street children in Tashkent and other cities, although there are no reports on their work in the informal sector. See Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Uzbekistan(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 6c, at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/eur/858.htm. See also Ministry of Public Education letter regarding forced cotton-picking practices, August 30, 2000 [document on file], and UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Uzbekistan, UN Document CRC/C/15/Add.168 (Geneva, October 12, 2001) [hereinafter Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child], para. 63.

[2670] Country Reports 2000 at Section 6c.

[2671] International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Women 2000: An Investigation into the Status of Women's Rights: Uzbekistan (Vienna, 2000) [hereinafter Women 2000], 505-6. See also Country Reports 2000 at Section 5.

[2672] Women 2000 at 505-6. See also Country Reports 2000 at Section 6f.

[2673] Country Reports 2000 at Section 5b.

[2674] UNESCO, Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment (Paris, 2000) [CD-ROM].

[2675] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[2676] Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child at para. 57.

[2677] With the consent of a parent or guardian, children may be admitted to employment at the age of 15. See UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties Due in 1996: Uzbekistan, UN Document CRC/C/41/Add.8 (Geneva, February 19, 2001) [hereinafter Initial Reports of States Parties], para. 314.

[2678] The government issued a list of jobs that fall into the category of "unfavorable labor conditions," which include drilling, chemical production, construction, and working underground. Children between 16 and 18 years of age may not work more than 36 hours a week, and children between 15 and 16 years of age (and school children between 14 and 16 years of age working during holidays) may not work more than 24 hours a week. See Resolution of the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Health Care on Approval of the List of Works with Unfavorable Labor Conditions [document on file]. See also Initial Reports of States Parties at paras. 315, 318, and 324.

[2679] Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, December 8, 1992, at http://www.ecostan.org/Laws/uzb/uzbekistancon.html on 10/24/01. See also Country Reports 2000.

[2680] Initial Reports of States Parties at para. 150. Penalties vary depending on the crime, ranging from fines to imprisonment of up to 5 years. See Articles 135 and 137 of the Criminal Code, as cited in Women 2000 at 505-6.

[2681] U.S. Embassy-Tashkent, unclassified telegram no. 3065, August 2000.

[2682] ILO, ILOLEX database: Uzbekistan, at http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/english/newratframee.htm on 10/24/01.

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