Uzbekistan: Without Forced Labor, Who’ll Pick the Cotton?

Women pick cotton in Uzbekistan’s part of the Ferghana Valley. Uzbek authorities appear to be mulling doing away with forced labor in cotton fields, but some experts say for that to happen, a total overhaul of the cotton sector is needed. (Photo: Peretz Partensky via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Uzbekistan’s government has traditionally characterized cotton-picking as hashar, a term for voluntary labor that Uzbeks are expected to undertake for the good of the community.

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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.

Uzbekistan: Without Forced Labor, Who’ll Pick the Cotton?

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