We are against forced labor!
Published by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan on March 6, 2018 on the web-site gazeta.uz
“Any demonstration of forced labor is a violation of human rights, and the civil duty of everyone is to fight against it” (Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
The issue of using forced labor has been frequently raised recently. Are there any regulations regarding it in the current legislation?
In accordance with Article 37 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, everyone has the right for labor, for free choice of labor, for fair working conditions and for protection against unemployment in compliance with the procedure established by the legislation.
Forced labor is prohibited except for the cases if the execution of the sentence by a court, or in other cases provided by the legislation.
The prohibition of forced labor is also demonstrated in a number of generally accepted international documents, and its any reflection is strongly condemned throughout the world.
What is forced labor and what types of labor force are currently known?
Forced labor is inducing to do any kind of work under the threat of any punishment. No one has the right to engage somebody in forced labor under the threat of dismissal from work, reduction of salary, reducing in position and any other circumstances.
The labor which execution is required in the following cases is not considered to be a forced labor:
• on the basis of legislation on military or alternative service;
• in a state of emergency;
• due to a court judgment that has entered into legal force;
• in other cases provided by the law.
This means that except for the above cases, the involvement of an employee in the activities which are not related to his professional performance through the use of violence or threats (the use of punishment, restriction of work and incentives) is admitted as forced labor.
Attracting an employee to the territory improvement, seasonal agricultural and construction works, as well as various activities, is considered to be a type of forced labor.
Where should a person attracted for forced labor appeal to?
In such cases it is possible to contact the labor inspectors of the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations and law enforcement authorities.
What punishment is determined for attracting for forced labor?
Attracting citizens to forced labor by an employer or official provides for administrative or criminal liability.
According to Article 51 of the Administrative Responsibility Code, administrative forcing for labor in any form, except for cases provided by the law, entails imposing a fine from 1 up to 3 times the minimum wage; the same offense committed against a minor entails imposing a fine from 5 up to 10 minimum wages.
Depending on the degree of public danger of attracting for forced labor, officials may be held criminally liable under articles 205, 206 of the Criminal Code.
Depending on the mitigating circumstances, a fine from 300 up to 600 minimum wages or restriction of freedom from 2 up to 5 years or imprisonment up to 5 years with deprivation of a certain right can be applied.
Can citizens attracted for forced labor make collective appeals?
In accordance with Article 15 of the Law “On Appeals of Individuals and Legal Entities”, individuals and legal entities are guaranteed the right to apply to the state authorities, organizations and their officials individually or collectively. This means that citizens can apply individually or collectively.
After such appeals authorized officials can make pressure. What will be the legal assessment and punishment for such unlawful activities?
According to Article 20 of the Law “On Appeals of Individuals and Legal Entities,” it is prohibited to prosecute persons in connection with their appeals to the state authorities, organizations and their officials in order to exercise or protect their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests, as well as to express their opinion and criticism in appeals.
In such a case, administrative and criminal liability is applied to the guilty person for attracting for forced labor and for violating the requirements of the Law “On Appeals of Individuals and Legal Entities”.
"Any demonstration of forced labor is admitted as a violation of human rights, and the civil duty of everyone is to fight against it" – reports the Ministry of Justice.
In case of revealing any facts of the forced labor it is recommended to contact
Reception of the Branch on appeals of citizens