State Sponsored Child Labor?

over a million children and adults across Uzbekistan, were mobilized this month to participate in the state-controlled harvest of cotton, Uzbekistan’s cash crop. Uzbekistan expects to produce 3.35 million tons of cotton this year, making it the world’s sixth largest producer and second largest exporter. Yet Uzbeks don’t share their government’s enormous profits. Instead, they suffer massive abuses. not only that working conditions are not safe as required by international standards. This year, as EurasiaNet reports, the news is that Uzbekistan has agreed to an inspection mission by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The Cotton Campaign, which works to end forced labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry, has welcomed the mission, but has expressed concern that the monitors will be accompanied by Uzbek officials, “whose presence will have a chilling effect on Uzbek citizens’ willingness to speak openly with the ILO monitors.”


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