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Samarkand governor exempts children under 15 from cotton picking [Uzbekistan]

Author: Uznews.net , Published on: 17 September 2008

The governor of Samarkand Region, Uktam Barnoyev, has issued orders not to involve schoolchildren under 15 in cotton picking, while students of colleges and lyceums of this age may be called up to pick cotton. As a rule, 15-year-olds should study in school, but the Uzbek government abolished 11-year schooling two years ago and many 15-year-olds study in colleges and lyceums after ninth form now…An anonymous official of the Samarkand Region administration…thinks that the authorities will attract college and lyceum students from rural areas to picking cotton at a peak of the season…[S]tudents of the Pastdargom District, many of whom are 15, were taken to cotton fields on 15 September…Journalist from Samarkand Yermuhhamad Rustamov said that child labour had become an issue of survival for the Uzbek government and of the country’s economic prosperity.

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