Mapping The Human Cost Of Cotton Picking In Uzbekistan
Every autumn, Uzbek children are pulled out of school and forced by authorities to participate in a nationwide cotton-picking effort. In recent years, teachers, actors, doctors, and athletes have also been put under pressure to pick the fluffy fiber. The Cotton Campaign, a nonprofit coalition of human rights, labor, investor and business organizations, has been compiling reports of abuse, based on information from rights activists, news reports, and messages from inside Uzbekistan. The organization's report on the harvest's first month is available here. RFE/RL's Uzbek Service has confirmed eight deaths connected to the harvest so far.