Uzbekistan’s Controversial Cotton Harvest ‘Feeds the Regime, not Citizens’ · Global Voices
Uzbekistan is famous for forced labor and child labor in particular. In 2009 a publication by The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London claimed that at least 86% of schools in the districts encountered by the study during the 2008 cotton season were subjected to compulsory recruitment requests from the government. Recruits were children between the ages of 11 and 14, who were expected to gather between 15-70 kilograms of cotton per day depending on their age and the stage of the harvest. Six years later, despite the relative success of an ongoing campaign to force manufacturers to boycott Uzbek cotton, little has changed inside the country. Uzbekistan was the sixth biggest producer in the world last harvest, and kids are still contributing to the cause.