26 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 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.
    Tashkent (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In Fergana province Uzbek children have odd school homework to do. Teachers recently gave them the assignment of making at least 200 paper funnels each, add soil and plant cotton seeds inside.

    This is the latest experiment in cotton farming introduced by the government in a country where cotton is the main export product.

    In fact schools and universities are closed from September to December, when cotton is picked, and students sent to the fields.

    Last year some major Western retail store chains like Marks & Spencer and Wal-Mart boycotted products containing Uzbek cotton to protest the use of child labour in Uzbek cotton plantations.

    But with pressure on farmers mounting as a result of unfavourable weather during the planting season, rights activists say kids will be back at work in the fields this year.

    Uzbek bans child labour, but the cotton industry, which is owned by the government, is labour intensive and minors are cheaper than adults who are paid on average US$ 6-7 a day.

    Karim Bozorboev, a human-rights campaigner in Uzbekistan’s Sirdaryo Province, said that even though the authorities has reassured the international community that it is opposed to child labour, the reality is that has done precious little, except perhaps to encourage it.

    “During the 2008 cotton-harvest season, we had information that the deputy of the provincial governor, who is in charge of agricultural issues, told people that if you don’t send your children to cotton fields, you will be declared enemies of the nation,” he said.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    22/01/2008 UZBEKISTAN
    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.

    27/03/2015 UZBEKISTAN
    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.

    18/10/2012 UZBEKISTAN
    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.

    28/10/2008 UZBEKISTAN
    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.

    Cotton in Central Asia: a story of poverty, environmental degradation and labour exploitation

    Editor's choices

    The new bishop of Changzhi and the many voices on China-Vatican dialogue

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The ordination will take place on November 10 in the Cathedral. The bishop had been appointed by the Holy See at least two years ago. But he was waiting for the green light from Beijing. Similar situation in Chengdu. Fears for the presence of excommunicated bishops. Reconciliation between illegitimate and official bishops is not brought about by political gestures, but depends on personal and canonical procedures. A meeting between the Chinese delegation and the Vatican is not "imminent".


    Pope: the cruelty of those who kill children in Iraq “makes us weep”

    "Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed for far too long against innocent citizens, be they Muslim, Christian or members of other ethnic groups and religions."  World Mission Day “is time of courage”.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®