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Turkmenistan|life|June 6, 2024 / 12:31 PM
Turkmenistan and International Labor Organization agree to stop forced labor in cotton harvest

AKIPRESS.COM - The government of Turkmenistan and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have prepared a roadmap for cooperation for 2024-2025, which determines steps to prevent the use of forced labor during the cotton harvest, reports.

The document details steps to prevent the use of forced labor of adults and children during the cotton harvest, provides mechanisms for complaints about coercion or extortion of money to hire workers, and provides a minimum wage for workers.

"If the roadmap is implemented, this will be great progress towards the eradication of forced labor in Turkmenistan," the document says.

The first goal of the map is the development of a draft presidential decree on measures for organized cotton harvesting to prevent forced or compulsory labor.

It is planned to introduce prohibitions and punishments for forced mobilization or extortion from citizens. The roadmap also aims to create an accessible method for filing anonymous complaints. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ombudsman Institute and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection are responsible for the development of this system.

The roadmap emphasizes that cotton pickers' work must be voluntary and fairly paid. Collecting money to hire workers is considered illegal, and the organizers must be punished by law. Children aged under 18 are not allowed to work in cotton fields.

In Turkmenistan, employees of public sector organizations and sometimes school students are involved in agricultural work. In particular, a report last year prepared by journalists and human rights activists states that the country's authorities used forced adult and child labor during cotton harvest and did not create acceptable conditions for workers in the fields.

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