Abuse is Unfashionable Sep15

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Raquel Benson

is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.


Abuse is Unfashionable

New York Fashion Week has officially rejected Gulnara Karimova’s prestigious Uzbek fashion line, Guli. Karimova, the daughter of Uzbekistan’s controversial president, and permanent representative to the United Nations faced many harsh criticisms and allegations of compliance in Human Rights violations.

It was a slick tactic, no doubt, that New York Fashion Week retaliated against Uzbekistan’s deplorable human rights track record with their rejection of Guli. They may have been under the assumption the Uzbek government would get the message via their most prominent diplomat.

Human Rights Watch Researcher, Steve Swerdlow passionately remarked, “Enslaving children and torturing dissidents is never chic, we’re glad Fashion Week will not showcase a designer who represents such a repressive government. They’re sending the message that abusers shouldn’t be allowed to launder their image at the expense of human rights.”

Human rights allegations have become an Uzbek tradition as there have been rampant violations under the rule of President Islam Karimov. Evidence of Karimov’s policies are deeply manifested in many aspects of the Uzbek government including forced child labor, systematic torture, and the imprisonment of human rights activists and journalists. As documented by human rights organizations, Uzbekistan requires about two million children to leave school to go pick cotton.

Read more at Human Rights Watch.