amfori, GIZ and Uzbek Textile Association kick-off Project to Improve Working Conditions in Uzbekistan

29-06-2021

 

amfori, GIZ and Uztextilprom (Uzbek Textile Association) sign an MoU and launch a training project together to improve working conditions in Uzbekistan.

  • IN BRIEF

amfori joined forces with GIZ and Uztextilprom (Uzbek Textile Association) to organise a kick-off webinar to launch the GIZ-amfori training project on Improving Working Conditions in Uzbekistan on 15th June. The event brought together a range of representatives from businesses, civil society, governments, and international organisations including the ILO. 

The 6-month project, to be implemented by amfori and funded by GIZ, will help factories advance sustainability along the cotton supply chain in Uzbekistan. The long-term objective is to increase the income of cotton farmers and textile workers, to protect natural resources and to create new and better employment perspectives within relevant cotton economies. A specific aim is to introduce international social audits and adherence to social standards in processing facilities.

Read more below about the specifics of the project and recent reforms taken by Uzbekistan.

  • IN DEPTH

The amfori GIZ project is very much in line with international donor community efforts in recognizing and supporting social reforms in Uzbekistan over the last few years.  According to the ILO’s latest 2021 monitoring report on the Uzbekistan[1],

“Uzbekistan continued to demonstrate major progress in the eradication of child labour and forced labour in the 2020 cotton harvest. As in previous years, there were only isolated cases of minors below the legal working age picking cotton [...] The ILO continues to find that systematic child labour is no longer used during the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. [...] Systematic forced labour did not occur during the 2020 cotton harvest. Reforms are implemented step-by-step and continue to have a significant positive impact.”

In April this year, the EU accepted Uzbekistan as the 9th beneficiary country of the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+). According to the EU “the acceptance of Uzbekistan as a beneficiary of GSP+ reflects the recognition of reforms undertaken by the government, in particular to improve the business

climate, the judicial system, security services, labour conditions, and administrative accountability and efficiency.”[2]

To further complement the amfori-GIZ capacity building project the two parties teamed up with Uzbektextilprom in June to sign a tripartite MoU. The objective of the three-year MoU is to advance growth, employment, and decent work in Uzbekistan through advocacy and awareness raising. Foreseen activities include organization of events, and development ad dissemination of reports on improving working conditions in Uzbekistan.

[1] International Labour Organisation, 2021: 2020 third-party monitoring of child labour and forced labour during the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, pg 6

[2] European Commission, 2021. Uzbekistan joins EU’s GSP+ arrangement