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'One Day On Earth' To Use RFE/RL Footage Of Cotton Pickers In Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, young children are often hauled out of school and into the fields for the cotton harvest. Video of the Tajik cotton harvest shot by RFE/RL correspondent Barot Yusufi will be featured later this month in 'One Day On Earth.'
In Tajikistan, young children are often hauled out of school and into the fields for the cotton harvest. Video of the Tajik cotton harvest shot by RFE/RL correspondent Barot Yusufi will be featured later this month in 'One Day On Earth.'
RFE/RL footage highlighting the lives of women and children cotton-pickers in Tajikistan will be included in an upcoming documentary, “One Day on Earth.” The film project, to be released this coming Earth Day, April 22, is meant to capture the tribulations and celebrations of people from around the world by using video footage shot on a single day, October 10, 2010. The video produced by RFE/RL’s Tajik Service examines the social and economic issues faced by Tajikistan’s cotton pickers, some of whom are as young as six years old, forced to work in the fields to support their families.

WATCH: 'Underpaid And Underage In Tajikistan's Cotton Fields'

“We received an email that [the producers of “One Day on Earth”] were collecting films from all over the world and were interested in using our footage from Tajikistan,” Sojida Djakhfarova, director of RFERL’s Tajik Service, says. “We were very happy to send them several links of our videos for them to choose, and they ended up using this video.”

Cotton, one of Tajikistan’s top two exports along with aluminum, is a controversial issue in Tajikistan, a country where domestic economic opportunities are scarce. Much of Tajikistan’s male workforce leaves for seasonal work in Russia, and remittances from abroad account for nearly half of Tajikistan’s GDP. 

Djakhfarova says that the disappearance of Tajikistan’s male migrants has put pressure on the rest of the population. “Since the great labor migration, cotton is a place for women and children, especially underage children to work,” she says.

“There is a government ban on child labor but no one follows it,” Djakhfarova notes. “The idea  for the video first emerged after Western organizations included Tajikistan on a list of countries whose cotton exports should be banned from purchase because of child labor.”

Because many cotton pickers rent the land that they work on, profits are usually very low. Families have to have every member involved in the process in order to make ends meet. Children are often taken out of school early or not allowed to continue their education for lack of family means.



“One Day On Earth” brings together video footage from individuals all across the globe; the submissions range from professionally filmed videos to images captured with cell phones. All in all, with the assistance and participation of 60 non-profit organizations, producers brought together 3000 hours of video shot in every nation on Earth on 10/10/10. The film covers an array of topics -- some uplifting, others less so. The initial success of the project has led to its continuation, with another day of filming occurring on November 11, 2011. Organizers hope to keep the project going through 2015.

-- Aemilia Madden

Tags: Tajikistan,cotton,Tajik Service,Earth Day

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by: JC from: USA
April 10, 2012 19:12
"As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease." Worldwatch Institute, "Is Meat Sustainable?"

"The livestock sector emerges as one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency." UN Food and Agricultural Organization's report "Livestock's Long Shadow"

Why would someone choose to be vegan? To slow global warming for one! Here are two uplifting videos to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE and http://www.veganvideo.org

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