CHILD LABOUR: What has changed? Progress in eliminating the use of forced child labour in the cotton harvests of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
The production and export of cotton continues to be a major feature of the economy, politics and everyday lives of the people of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Bringing in the cotton harvest in Central Asia has traditionally involved mobilizing wide sections of the community, including young people.
The report builds on the analysis in the previous SOAS report, Invisible to the World: They Dynamics of Forced Child Labour in the Cotton Sector in Uzbekistan, bringing it up to date by drawing from new original data from the 2009 cotton harvest in Uzbekistan and introducing a comparative dimension by including the first systemtic survey on the issue in Tajikistan. The report argues that despite nominal government commitments and some international pressure, many of the underlying drivers of the use of child labour remain and the practice is still widespread, though with important differences between the two countries. Progress in eradicating this worst form of child labour must therefore take into account the distinctive political economies of the two countries.