Call on the World Bank President to suspend loans tainted with Uzbek forced labor

138,548 actions of 150,000 goal

Dear World Bank President Jim Yong Kim,

Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest has recently finished. I am concerned that despite the pledge made by Uzbekistan’s President in 2017, and during that harvest the ILO found that 336,000 citizens were forced into the fields but that the World Bank failed to suspend its loans benefiting the Uzbek cotton sector.

I am asking you to suspend the South Karakalpakstan Water Resources Management Improvement project and other agriculture investments in Uzbekistan that benefit the cotton sector until the systematic forced labor has verifiably ended.  I ask this knowing that you have failed to take action despite receiving over 136,109 petition signatures asking just that in March 2016, and despite credible reports from the Uzbek German Forum for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch extensively documenting ongoing forced labor on the South Karakalpakstan project area and throughout the cotton sector in violation of its agreement with the World Bank to enforce prohibitions on forced and child labor within the Bank’s project area.

Please act now by suspending loans that benefit the Uzbek cotton sector to ensure the World Bank is no longer perpetuating modern slavery.