Gulnara Karimova is the daughter of the President of Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan as well as Uzbekistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva and the Ambassador to Spain. As an official representative of the government, she’s well aware of the state-sponsored use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. Every harvest season, including the current season that has just begun, young people are removed from schools across the country and forced to meet government-imposed production quotas. Karimova is also known as “the single most hated person” in Uzbekistan, according to recently leaked diplomatic cables, for allegedly using her political connections to crush business competitors.
Ms. Karimova is also an aspiring fashion designer who is hoping to show her collection during New York Fashion Week. IMG, one of the organizers of the official New York Fashion Week, has already cancelled her show when it was made aware of her connection to human rights abuses. Now, the New York Post reports that Karimova is approaching Cipriani’s restaurant chain in New York to host her show. Cipriani’s restaurant, whose owners pled guilty of tax evasion several years ago, should not provide a forum for Karimova’s show. Neither should the consulates of Russia, Spain, Switzerland or the United Arab Emirates which have also been approached about hosting the show.
Join us in telling these venues that forced child labor is out of style and asking them to refuse to host Karimova’s show.
Karimova should not be provided a forum at your venue. I advise against allowing Karimova, who is also an official representative of Uzbekistan, the opportunity to gloss over her tainted image by presenting her GULI collection at your facilities. It is time that we send a message that forced child labor and human rights abuses are no longer in fashion. Please confirm that you will not welcome Karimova at your venue.