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The Role of Children in Uzbekistans Cotton Harvest By Elliott Cannell & Steve Trent.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Children in Uzbekistans Cotton Harvest By Elliott Cannell & Steve Trent."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Children in Uzbekistans Cotton Harvest By Elliott Cannell & Steve Trent

2 Denying that Child Labour occurs We do not use childrens labour - Uzbek Embassy in London We buy our cotton from government agencies and dont know what happens in the field - an International Cotton Trader

3 Child Labour in the Uzbek Cotton Harvest Our teacher told us to go and pick cotton. Everyone is picking cotton… I get 50 soums for one day – Dilfusa, 10 years old, Namangan Everybody says cotton, cotton, cotton, but we need a future generation. Everyone is involved in picking cotton from 1st classes to old men and women who can hardly walk. – Abdurakhimova, an Uzbek schoolteacher 12 kgs a day. Its better to go to school: you get education – Isom, 12 years old, Ferghana

4 Organisation of Child Labour Mass mobilisation of children orchestrated by the Uzbek State Accommodation in makeshift barracks

5 How many Children? UNICEF – 22.6% of 5-14 year olds (1.4 million children) 700,000 schoolchildren in 1987 (45% mechanisation) Its getting worse and worse. Before they sent children from the 9th to the 11th classes. But now theyre sending 3rd class children as well. Children as young as 9 years old have no lessons and are also involved in the cotton campaigns. 200,000 in Ferghana District (2001)

6 Consequences of Forced Child Labour Exhaustion Intestinal and respiratory infections, meningitis, hepatitis Death – 8 children in Samarkand over a 2 year period Debt: actual wages < expenses

7 Uzbek Human Rights Organisations I want to ask the representatives of developed countries not to buy cotton which is picked by the hands of small children – Head of Ezgulic, Namangan (2004) 18 NGOs signed petition: Boycott Uzbek cotton – our great future suffering in the cotton fields (2004) I believe that the world community will force the Uzbek government to respond to these crimes forcing children to be slaves – Ut Yuraklar (2004)

8 EJF Campaign Retailers: declare their products free of Uzbek cotton Build on existing EU position re: child labour imports Clothing label designating apparel as being Child Labour Free Create greater awareness of the issue

9 Thank you


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