Central Asia: Child Labor Alive And Thriving
Author: Gulnoza Saidazimova, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Published on: 12 June 2008
Officials in Central Asia have long denied that children are forced to work... But in many rural areas, particularly in places like Uzbekistan, it is the government that forces children to pick cotton. The practice has existed since the Soviet era and continued when the Central Asian countries gained independence in 1991 -- even after they joined international agreements banning child labor... Jovid Juraev, of...Save the Children in Dushanbe, [Tajikistan]...says there is no political will to end it despite official pronouncements to the contrary... A campaign launched in November brought some results, as major clothing chains including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Gap, and H&M -- as well as textile producers in South Asia -- resolved to stop buying Uzbek cotton fiber.