Trafficking in persons: current situation: Uzbekistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; government-compelled forced labor of adults remained endemic during the 2014 cotton harvest; despite a decree banning the use of persons under 18, children were mobilized to harvest cotton by local officials in some districts; in some regions, local officials forced teachers, students, private business employees, and others to work in construction, agriculture, and cleaning parks; Uzbekistani women and children are victims of sex trafficking domestically and in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia; Uzbekistani men and, to a lesser extent, women are subjected to forced labor in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine in the construction, oil, agriculture, retail, and food sectors
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; law enforcement efforts in 2014 were mixed; the government made efforts to combat sex and transnational labor trafficking, but government-compelled forced labor of adults in the cotton harvest went unaddressed, and the decree prohibiting forced child labor was not applied universally; official complicity in human trafficking in the cotton harvest remained prevalent; authorities made efforts to identify and protect sex and transnational labor victims, although a systematic process is still lacking; minimal efforts were made to assist victims of forced labor in the cotton harvest, as the government does not openly acknowledge the existence of this forced labor; the ILO did not have permission or funding to monitor the 2014 harvest, but the government authorized the UN's International Labour Organization to conduct a survey on recruitment practices and working conditions in agriculture, particularly the cotton sector, and to monitor the 2015-17 cotton harvests for child and forced labor in project areas (2015)
Definition: Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues, estimates that 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time. Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their human rights and freedoms, risking global health, promoting social breakdown, inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human capital, and helping fuel the growth of organized crime. In 2000, the US Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), reauthorized in 2003 and 2005, which provides tools for the US to combat trafficking in persons, both domestically and abroad. One of the law's key components is the creation of the US Department of State's annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the government response (i.e., the current situation) in some 150 countries with a significant number of victims trafficked across their borders who are recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for forced labor or sexual exploitation.Countries in the annual report are rated in three tiers, based on government efforts to combat trafficking. The countries identified in this entry are those listed in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report as Tier 2 Watch List or Tier 3 based on the following tier rating definitions:
Tier 2 Watch List countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:
1. they display high or significantly increasing number of victims,
2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, or,
3. they have committed to take action over the next year.
Tier 3 countries neither satisfy the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking nor demonstrate a significant effort to do so. Countries in this tier are subject to potential non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.
Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on January 20, 2018