Dear Ms. Elaine Fultz,
Thank you very much for your letter. I would like to present my respect to your organization. I'm also glad that you're offering support to the Government of Uzbekistan to tackle the problem of forced child labour in this country. We understand that while ILO has introduced widely accepted labour standards, however, it doesn't possess enforcement mechanisms to force national governments to implementing them in practice. Therefore, ILO uses the language of dialogue, encouragement and persuasion. Another method of work is raising awareness of the international community about the situation with labour rights in various countries. We regret that in respect to Uzbekistan ILO misled the international community by disseminating reports that contain mistakes. It has happened probably because of the uncritical use of the MICS surveys in conducted in Uzbekistan in 2000 and 2006 under the supervision of the Uzbek State Statistical Committee and sponsored by UNICEF. If ILO was not able so far to persuade the Uzbek government to cooperate on the issue of child labour, then, at least, it should not have multiplied misinformation on this subject around the world. In our view, it would work against your declared mission. We're not going to blame anybody; our point is to show mistakes that may lead to grave consequences for children of Uzbekistan.
We recently learned that ILO has its representative to Uzbekistan. Here are her contacts:
National Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan
Tel: +99871 1348479
Fax: +99871 1420484
Could you please send us information what is the mission of Ms. Rakhimova in Uzbekistan, and what are the results of her activity. We trust Ms. Rakhimova is doing her best to promote the course if labour rights. We just need more details of that, as we have found no information in this respect in the news-letters issues by the ILO regional office in Moscow.
We'd like also to inform you that our coalition is planning a roundtable on the issues of forced child labour in Uzbekistan. It will take place on the 3rd of April, 2008 in Bremen coincidently with the time of the 29th International Cotton Conference. We have been also invited for a meeting with representatives of ICAC and Bremen Cotton Exchange which is supposed to take place on the 4th of April. We hope that you'll be able to attend both the meeting and the roundtable. Our colleagues responsible for the roundtable will shortly send you the invitation for this roundtable. Its idea is to gather a circle of various stakeholders and start a dialogue on how the practice of forced child labour in Uzbekistan could be eradicated and what action the international community could and should take in this respect.
Thank you very much for your consideration,