» 05/26/2009, 00.00
Making cotton as homework for Uzbek children
Students in Fergana province have to make 200 paper funnels each in which to plant cotton seeds. Uzbek authorities allow child exploitation in the country’s largest export earning industry.
Open letter against child labour calls for Uzbek cotton boycott
Human rights activists denounce Uzbek state for forcing pupils to leave schools to pick cotton at low wages. Profits go to politicians. Clothing retailers join the boycott, but the campaign is proving controversial. Teacher tells of her experience.
Expulsion of Russian expert monitoring child labour practices in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry
Uzbek authorities arrested and then expelled the consultant whose presence was part of a deal with the World Bank. The latter’s loans were predicated on the Central Asian nation eliminating child labour from its cotton industry. The expert was in contact with the country’s only human rights NGO. For many years, Uzbekistan has tried to circumvent international rules to counter the boycott by American and European companies.
Millions of Uzbek cotton slaves to "make nation great"
The harvest takes place every year between October and November and involves the entire population, including children, the elderly and pregnant women. The work is done by hand to maintain the high quality of the product. Hundreds of international brands interested in the Uzbek cotton, including Adidas and H & M.
Western boycott fails as Uzbek children still forced to pick cotton
Like every year from mid-September to November Uzbekistan shuts down its schools and forces students to pick cotton at very low wages. But whilst Western companies are boycotting Uzbek cotton, South Asian and East Asian companies continue to buy it, turning hefty profits.
30/04/2005 UZBEKISTAN TAJIKISTAN TURKMENISTAN
Cotton in Central Asia: a story of poverty, environmental degradation and labour exploitation
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