However, the Amnesty International report on human rights in the country for 2017/2018 described continued repressive measures, including forced labour in cotton harvesting, and restrictions on movements of 'freed' prisoners.The Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution.Since the 1960s, the decade when the overuse of the Aral Sea water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area and decreased in volume threefold.
In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, none of its rivers lead to the sea.
Less than 10% of its territory is intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases. The highest point in Uzbekistan is the Khazret Sultan, at 4,643 metres (15,233 ft) above sea level, in the southern part of the Gissar Range in Surkhandarya Province, on the border with Tajikistan, just northwest of Dushanbe (formerly called Peak of the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party).
During this period, cities such as Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara began to grow rich from the Silk Road.
The local Khwarezmian dynasty, and Central Asia as a whole, were decimated by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century.
Uzbekistan is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.