DUSHANBE (RFE/RL) -- Tajik students have begun returning from the cotton harvest, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
The cotton-harvest season takes place from September-November each year and many thousands of Tajik university and secondary-school students are obligated to leave school and participate in the harvest.
Students who do not take part risk being expelled from school.
The use of students in Central Asia to help bring in a harvest is a legacy from the Soviet era and is being challenged by local and international human rights activists.
Student participation in harvests is most prevalent in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.