Adults Suffer Forced Labor, Beatings in Uzbek Cotton Campaign: Human Rights Groups
Much of the reporting on the cotton season in Uzbekistan has focused on the use of forced child labor, despite government pledges to discontinue the practice. This type of abuse takes place in a larger context of the coerced labor and exploitation of adults. The government sets quotas for farmers to meet and pays them fixed prices for their crops, and requires all state employees work on the harvest. Those who cannot for reasons of work or health are compelled to hire substitutes. Everywhere, local administrators have called on everyone to turn out and pick cotton, as prices are at an all-time high and the weather has been good so far this year. This sets the stage not only for the use of child labor but also abuse of both children and adults.
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