Accessibility links

Breaking News

Another Uzbek Student Dies During Cotton Harvest

Teenage girls pick up cotton in the Bukhara region.
URGENCH, Uzbekistan -- A 10th young person has died in Uzbekistan while involved in compulsory work on the cotton harvest, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

A witness told RFE/RL that a bus filled with students overturned as it was driving into a cotton field near the western city of Urgench, and one boy died as a result.

Earlier this year, two young women died in an accident while attempting to leave a cotton field in the Ferghana Valley, and last year a student was killed by wolves while working in a cotton field.

The death from the bus accident is the 10th official death of a student during the cotton harvest season, when schoolchildren are required to take part in the harvest.

Uzbekistan is the second-largest cotton exporter in the world.

Several major clothing companies have called for a boycott of textiles made with Uzbek cotton because of the government's use of child labor.