The Cotton Campaign to end slavery in the cotton industry of Uzbekistan and our friends at Edenvideos teamed up with Anti Slavery International to create an this informative illustration highlighting issues faced by Uzbek citizens during the cotton harvesting season.
Uzbekistan is one of the world’s largest producers in the cotton industry. The repressive government forces labour upon its citizens. During the harvest season, you can find school teachers and doctors alike picking in the fields along side their nine-year-old co-workers. If anyone refuses, there are financial and living implications as well as harassment by the government and job officials who threaten to fire those who try to deny forced labour. If businesses wish to stay open during the harvest season, they must contribute financially to the operation. There are only the few elite who benefit from this process. Textile traders have ‘promised’ not to include Uzbekistan cotton in their business, but traders are complicit and officials are corrupt, so the cotton makes it’s way in despite the rules and regulations.